It wouldn't have been right if Low had played Cardiff in the sunshine. Our city had been enjoying glorious sunshine all week but on the night that Low played Cardiff for the first time a light grey drizzle had descended. The kings (and queen) of Slowcore wouldn't sit right in the sun.
I love the Tramshed, it's a brilliant venue and one that our city has been crying out for and that night it was pretty full. Low were playing two sets, so it could be argued all the Low you'd ever need. I don't know if the evenings unusual running order was out of necessity, could they not get a support band? I wasn't complaining.
I went with my bestest mate Matthew Hampton and met up with my running amigo Steve Ford there and bumped into a few people there. I was feeling knackered before I went becuase of a few afternoon snifters, but got a second wind when I got to the venue.
The first set consisted of songs from their last two albums 'The Invisable Way' and 'Ones and Sixies'. Of the two 'the tracks fracks from 'Ones and Sixies' really shone out live, 'Kid in the Corner', 'Spanish Translation; and 'No Comprende' really standing out. Really Low shouldn't really be as good as they are live, like Pixies they don't really do anything other than come on stage and play their music, but show how that's enough. However it music be said that that night Alan Sparhawk - never the most demonstative of front men - was particularly monosyllabic. I think he barely said a 'thank you' during the hour and something of the first set. Not that I really give a shit to be honest, I tend to put creatives and musicians in particular on a pedstal, so whatever they want to do is fine by me, especially with a band as truly great as Low.
This sort of leads me to one of the things this gig will be remembered for, namely some fucking drunk idiot shouting out for 'Sunflower', yes it's a great song but for Christ's sake let the band so what they want to do. Someone did yell a reply of 'Shut the fuck up, there's a set list!'. I'm sure this isn't particular to Cardiff (but it's very prevelent in my experience) but there's been a few gigs where regardless of the band people get spectacularly hammered and have it large, which I find annoying as Low especially aren't a 'throw your hands in the air...' type of band.The band did play 'Sunflower' and great it was too. Job done. Except about three songs after the same well refreshed gentleman started shouting out for the song again, which was as twatty as it was funny. This is why we can't have nice things, but truth be told I had to literally bite my lip to stop shouting out for it immediately after they'd finished the song.
The second set was a 'hits' heavy set taking songs from 'The Great Destroyer' and 'Things we Lost in the Fire' among others. I wasn't very taken with their Al Green cover, but other than that it was epic and majestic, everything I love about Low. They didn't play 'When I Go Deaf' which is probably best as I get a bit weepy when they play that song.
Alan got a little bit chattier towards the end, basically saying that they'd play as much as they could up to the 11pm curfew. In the end they played for two and a half hours, and I could have cheerfully had them play for a lot longer. A brilliant, sublime live experience.