Saturday, October 20, 2007
Ken Andrews at the Belly Up
When I interviewed Ken Andrews about a future reunion with Failure, he said "I never say never". I found this ironic as Ken embarked on another tour this time bringing his wife Charlotte Martin dubbing it the "Never Say Never Tour" that descended upon the Belly Up.
First Wave Hello was up first and were sporting a new line up as Coner Seargeant and Christian Cummings left the band. The band had new members of Adam Barker (Drums) and Chris Kolek (Bass) who were very capable of filling in. First Wave Hello dived into some new material by playing "Two Propellers" off their soon to be released EP "God Bless, Devil You". The song opens with some Rhodes electric piano before sheets of noise from Jacob Turnbloom's Fender telecaster come raining down. They reworked their song "Lay Down" to give it a atmospheric vibe with an assist from Ken Andrews on vocals. "Our Best Policy" sounded excellent with its storm of synth lines and distorted guitars. They finished their set in a lazer quick thirty minutes but I could have used a few extra songs.
Charlotte Martin was next. She has a new release entitled "Reproductions" that is a cover album of some excellent songs from the likes of Interpol, Cocteau Twins and New Order. I have missed her shows at the Hotel Cafe and have been meaning to catch her show. I was immediately taken by her vocal range and her obvious opera training. When I wasn't dazzled by her vocals, she adeptly worked her Yamaha S90. Charlotte gave a splendid performance that was well received by the San Diego crowd. The highlight of her set was when Ken came out and sang on "Civilized". Ken's smoky baritone voice coupled with Charlotte's airy sweet vocals served as a dynamic contrast and had me thinking that they should definitely record an album.
Charlotte Martin Setlist for the Belly Up (10/19/07)
"Limits of Our Love"
"Cut The Cord"
"I Am Stretched On Your Grave"
"Lost and Found"
"Song To The Siren"
The opening synthesizer squalls of "Allergic" filled the Belly Up as Ken Andrews put on his Fender Stratocaster. First Wave Hello was his backing band as they ventured into a handful of songs of Ken Andrews latest solo album "Secret of The Lost Satellites". I still would like to hear the song "Tripped Up" live as it is one of my favorites from the album. Jacob Turnbloom added some good background vocals to the songs and blew out his Fender Amp head midway into the set. The blown amplifier didn't slow the momentum as the band easily picked up where they left off and quickly stepped into the Year of The Rabbit time warp. I was pleasantly shocked when Ken mentioned he wanted to bring out a guest for one of the Year of the Rabbit songs. Tim Dow, the former Year of The Rabbit drummer appeared on stage and showed no signs of rust as he handled "Lie Down". I didn't expect Solomon "Walker" Snyder (Year of The Rabbit bassist) to appear since I saw him a few days ago touring with Morrissey. "Absent Stars" sounded top notch with Jacob easily handling the intertwining guitar leads. When Ken switched gears to Failure, Jacob turned to a Gibson Les Paul and Ken switched to a Fender Telecaster. I admit that I still get the chills every time I hear the opening notes of "Undone". It is such a well written song and it filled the whole Belly Up with lush phased guitars that collapsed into driving drums and churning guitars. They closed the night with a stunning version of "The Nurse Who Loved Me" with Charlotte Martin assisting on vocals. I was lucky that I still had the Troubadour show to go.
Ken Andrews setlist at the Belly Up (10/19/07)
"Does Anybody Know"
"Up Or Down"
"In Your Way"
"Lie Down" with Tim Dow from Year Of The Rabbit on drums
"Dirty Blue Balloons"
"Stuck On You"
"The Nurse Who Loved Me" with Charlotte Martin