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REVIEWS:LIVE MUSIC The Radio Dept. Bush Hall, London 4/5 Firstly, if you have never been, Bush Hall is one of the most beautiful gig venues I have seen and as it transpires, the local urban environment of the Uxbridge Road juxtaposed with this historic building provides the perfect environment for The Radio Dept.’s delicately feedback melancholy pop. A curious combination of New Order, Pet Shop Boys and elements of shoegazing, The Radio Dept. are three Swedes who have quietly made three critically acclaimed albums since 2002, the latest of which “Clinging To A Scheme” was released earlier this month. Augmented by another member for this tour, their set pulsed away to a succession of songs including the thumping ‘This Time Around’ from the new album setting the pace. Although perhaps known more for their downbeat songs such as the mournfully lovely “I Wanted You To Feel The Same”, The Radio Dept. also do a nice line in funky Motown soul such as politically aware recent single ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ and even, melancholy reggae-tinged pop on excellent upcoming single ‘Never Follow Suit’, all of which go down Hawksley Workman The Borderline, London 3/5 Hawksley Workman has without doubt a dedicated fanbase. Having never really cracked the UK music scene, the Canadian independent King has the heaving audience eating out of his hand as he arrives on stage. Launching straight into the crowd pleasing ‘Oh You Delicate Heart’. Throughout his simple set Wokrman is attentive to his audience’s requests - managing to balance his back catalogue with the promotion of tracks from his new album “Meat”. However, Workman quickly falls into a rhythm he is unable to escape. Having built up a reputation for fusing genres, his live performance is notably monotone. Only a die-hard fan would be able to distinguish one composition from the next. Whilst many musicians relish the opportunity to strip back their sound, Workman appears restricted by his minimal accompaniment. With just a guitar and keyboard onstage, Workman’s arrangements lose the kick

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well with this enraptured crowd. As is often the case at gigs, the subtleties on the albums including the layered textures and especially, the wistfulness of singer Johan Duncanson’s voice in this case, get a little lost in the mix as the gig evolves. But like the return of a prodigal child, The Radio Dept. are warmly welcomed by an audience who lap up every song including old favourites such as the glorious ‘Pulling Our Weight’ and the feedback drenched ‘Keen On Boys’. Other than the occasional ‘Thanks’, there was little interaction with the crowd and this just adds to the elusive aura that surrounds The Radio Dept as they are not the most prolific of bands, so when they do tour or release an album, the fans come out to inject themselves with what they know will be an all too brief moment of melancholy, electronic pop joy. On record, The Radio Dept. entice you to immerse yourself in their magical, mysterious and dream-like world. The live experience is less so. Until the band returned to play an encore of perhaps their finest moment, the elegiac ‘The Worst Taste In Music’, which was rapturously received by the adoring crowd. And then with a quick ‘Thanks’, they were gone. Alex Borg that can be found on record. Despite these restraints, his screaming fans are more than impressed by his efforts. As one song segues into another, Workman thankfully takes constant talk breaks. Yet soon enough his mumblings grow increasingly in length and often lose relevance, or even train of thought. There are moments of redemption, most notably as the set draws to a close. It is impossible to question the raw beauty of Workman’s vocal, which are tear-inducingly evident on set closer “Don’t Be Crushed’. In breaking from his rock-inspired romp, Workman colours his vocal with emotion. As a recording artist, Workman has more than proved his worth. His eclectic and exciting back catalogue warrants exploration, but on stage Workman appears to have lost some of his spark. A talented individual who has lost the passion for performance, at times it feels like Workman is going through the motions. Yet, there are fleeting moments that make the night worthwhile and show exactly why Workman’s star still shines. Jeremy Williams

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The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

The Kaje - Issue 2 (June 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 2 takes a look at: The Bang...

Profile for the_kaje