Sunday, November 18, 2007
Athlete at the Troubadour
Athlete is a band you should know about. Athlete plays compelling self described "Quirky, Indie Britpop" that has yet to break out here stateside but their second album "Tourist" went number one in the UK of the strength of the song "Wires". Athlete is touring in support of their album "Beyond The Neighborhood".
Gemma Hayes by the way of Ireland was backed by a single guitarist as she unfolded her wistful acoustic ballads. Gemma was very proficient on her Gibson acoustic guitar and debuted some songs off her yet to be released new album that was recorded here in Los Angeles.
I downloaded Athlete's song "Wires" from itunes as a free download of the week almost two years ago. I immediately purchased the album and have been a fan ever since. Athlete mixes their Britpop songs and infuses it with catchy piano and keyboards while Joel Pott (Vocals/Guitars) captivates you with his voice. I would classify them in the realm of Coldplay, U2, and Keane but with a bigger nod in the keyboard department. They opened the night with the bouncing piano riff of "Tokyo" off their latest album "Beyond The Neighborhood". Tim Wanstall (Keyboards) had a cool little setup of a Oberheim MC 3000 and a Minimoog Voyager. "Hurricane" sounded fantastic with its overdriven guitars and catchy synth beeps in the background. Joel was having a good time in his Raiders of The Lost Ark T-shirt and thanked the crowd many times. "Wires" was one of the many highlights of the nights. It was interesting to note that a capo was used for "Wires" on the 11th fret. Joel punctuated "Shake Those Windows" with a rare stage dive into the audience. I left the Troubadour wondering why Athlete wasn't huge in America.