Band of Horses @ Camden Roundhouse 09.06.10

The lights go down and the slightly bloated, slightly older, slightly more hirsute audience in the Roundhouse hushes. Not to be greeted by the American gentlemen we’re here to see just yet, we are instead subjected to the unmistakeable opening passage from Phil Collins’ 'In The Air Tonight'.

Jun 10th, 2010 at Camden Roundhouse / By Charlie Elwess
Band of Horses “Fuck off…no, seriously? Fuck off!” are the words most akin to describing Bearded’s initial reaction. Predictably, oh-so-yawn-inducing-ly predictably, the band emerges as ‘that’ drum fill echoes out around the venue. Were they really serious about this? When they eventually start playing they play a cover of 'I’m a Good Man' by Them Too and, as starts to gigs go, it’s kind of like getting a weak half-hand job after having been promised full sex with a real live woman a month ago.

Thankfully though the band finally starts playing the material the audience is here to see. They’re good, they’re tight and the new songs they play first up work well with their plush video backdrop, but it’s not until they play the songs from the first two albums like 'Weed Party', 'No One’s Gonna Love You', 'Great Salt Lake' and 'Funeral' that one feels you really see the horses at their anthemic best. It’s a long, balmy night though and the rest of the set is a pretty bland affair, the more twee side of Americana occasionally rearing its grotesque head.

The gig ends with a little acoustic encore of which Bearded can only really stand a couple of minutes at best. It’s a shame because Band of Horses is a great group with a number of magnificent songs, but Infinite Arms really should have taken them in much more of a new direction than it has. As such they didn’t really seem entirely prepared for a big set in a big venue, and one can only hope that they quickly grow into the new shoes they’ve put on.