Wednesday 9 May 2018

On Stage: Ought @ Paradiso Tolhuistuin

A few years back Canadian band Ought stunned with an amazing album Sun Coming Down. The clever record also worked very well live as they proved several times. Now they have returned with a very worthy follow up Room Inside The World and also return to the same stage I saw them before.

Ought at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, May 7 2018

I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the support act Lewsberg. This band from Rotterdam has created quite a buzz around them and for a good reason as it turns out. The band clearly channels The Velvet Underground and a little Talking Heads. Singer Arie van Vliet sounds like Lou Reed but looks a bit like David Byrne, although a paler version of him. The band definitely have their sound down, but their indifferent act could work against them when they play longer shows. I think it actually works in their disadvantage since not much is happening on stage and it may get on people's nerves in the end. Still this is a band to keep an eye on.

Ought are at the end of their tour says singer Tim Darcy, although they don't look like they are tired at all. I like how this band is always playing focused, totally into their music. Darcy is an intriguing person to look at, with his thin posture and piercing eyes. His voice may sound a bit weird sometimes but the way he brings his lyrics, in a lazy almost spoken way is very effective.

The band has developed an incredible sound, which changed a little on the last LP. It got a bit less dark and more funky with lovely eighties inspired bass lines. Bassist Ben Stidworthy together with the light jazzy drumming of Tim Keen are a wonderful rhythm section. Matt May finishes everything off with his keys, acting as a glue. It all sounds well balanced and you can hear a lot of detail.

Today the band plays most songs off the new record and kicks off with four fresh ones in a row. New songs like 'Disgraced In America' and 'Disaffectation' sound great live too and everything is played with a certain urgency, with Darcy raising his finger now and then as if he wants to make an even stronger point. Sometimes he will smile a little, almost grinning. Maybe he's laughing a bit because of the reaction of the crowd in front who are singing along to bits of his lyrics. Like every show since Sun Coming Down, the highlight still is the incredible 'Beautiful Blue Sky' that never fails to impress. In the encore the band closes with two songs of their first album More Than Any Other Day. Ought are without a doubt one of the most interesting bands of the moment.

All Pictures

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01. Into the Sea
02. Disgraced in America
03. These 3 Things
04. Desire
05. Men for Miles
06. Habit
07. Beautiful Blue Sky
08. Take Everything
09. Disaffectation
10. Alice
11. Today, More Than Any Other Day
12. The Weather Song

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