Saturday, 22 September 2012
Only last month he was playing Hyde Park with Blur. Tonight he's playing solo for only a few hundred people with his band. Guitar player Graham Coxon doesn't mind. He released his eighth solo album earlier this year, A+E, which shows what a versatile artist he is. And tonight he's proving that on stage as well.
Graham Coxon at Melkweg Amsterdam, September 18 2012
When you listen to Blur albums and Coxon's solo albums, it's clear that he had a big influence on the Blur sound. And with that he had a big influence on British music history as well. Therefore it's hard to believe that this great musician is playing for that few a people. One advantage is that we can move up close to the stage to watch him play. He's no show guitarist and shredder like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but it's obvious how great he is. Especially the way he's creating a big range of different sounds with his guitar is just great. And he's an artist who will always try to experiment with sounds and song structures.
Tonight is turning into a British show. There are many fans from the UK and Coxon's stage appearance is typically Britpop nonchalance. He and the band are having a good time. There are many smiles on the stage. They are smirking from time to time when something doesn't seem to go according to plan, like starting or finishing a song all at the same time. Except his drummer, who is mostly looking clueless. Coxon is chatting with the crowd now and then, making funny remarks, although not all of it is loud enough to hear it properly. It doesn't matter, the music is spot on.
Many songs of his latest album come by tonight. Combined with older songs it's a strong and varied set list. It is showing what a great composer he is as well. Just listen to a song like 'What'll It Take', not for the lyrics, since that's only a few lines, but for the great groove. Or the beautiful Beatles-like 'All Over Me'. Of course 'Freaking Out' isn't missing tonight. It's fair to say that Coxon is simply a way too underrated artist and deserves a lot more credit. Listen to his records and watch him play when you get the chance.
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