Some good conversation led to Colin from TST colluding with The Albert to come up with a fantastic idea which might just work — afternoon gigs. Sunday afternoons, from about 2pm til 5pm playing light, Sunday afternoon-accessible music. Well that worked well enough and so they’ve even started Saturdays as well, but those ones are loud. But this one was a Sunday, with perhaps the quietest vocalist of them all, Southampton’s Mat Sweet, appearing here under his Boduf Songs moniker, which has been built up into a three-piece band for live performances, though keeping true to the aching simplicity which is at the heart of the project.
The hushed, almost breaking vocals are delicate but sing of a bilious blackness.
Support came from Stereo Entertainer whose live noise made for glorious Sunday afternoon musings. Made up of three men and a whole load of bits and things, keyboards, instruments, mics, effects boxes and pedals building up a post-industrial soundscape of white noise and softly jarring sub-sonics. The set took form as one lengthy piece, building up over time and moving around different moods, focusing in on different sounds and echoing and layering them up — as is seen in the work of Boduf Song’s Kranky label mates like Keith Fullerton Whitman or even the ambient strains of noise outfits like Yellow Swans and Wolf Eyes.
Boduf Songs, playing without house lights but to a small vintage bedside lamp positioned at the front of centre stage, quietened the crowd-noise down to an absolute silence with their humble acoustics, the folk-guitar riffs forming slow and soft mantras in their droning repetition. The hushed, almost breaking vocals are delicate but sing of a bilious blackness more reminiscent of Emperor than neo-folk like Espers, darkening the mood from the musical history from which the music could otherwise sit next to. Like in Steve Von Till’s Harvestman project the sounds of legends like Bert Jansch and John Renbourne are reinterpreted, and here lay glowing and pleasant yet shot through with a vicious bleakness. Sweet’s songs are as tender as his vocals, and powerfully wrought live with two picked guitars and either a bowed guitar or percussion from a minute kit fraction — mainly just a cymbal, brushing out a reserved though sometimes even fairly rapid tempo — coming together to create an intense and intimate brooding soundtrack.