Acoustic gigs are always a bit of a crapshoot. Can the band carry it off in unfamiliar circumstances? Are the songs strong enough to stand on their own, without the bombast of sound to prop them up? Can the singer perform well enough with his vocals taking center stage? The answering to all three was a resounding ìyesî last night as South played a special intimate stripped-down set at the Lock Tavern in Camden.
The crowd was smashed onto the balcony at the Lock last night, people standing in any bit of free space that wasnít occupied by the tables and benches. Joel Cadbury and his mates strapped on their guitars and went at it. Calling it an acoustic gig is somewhat misleading, as Cadbury did play an acoustic guitar, but Jamie McDonald played a quieted electric guitar and electric bass and keyboards were in the mix as well. The show was quite enthralling, even better than the gig of last month at 93 Feet East. Cadbury was on fine form, his vocals ringing record-perfect, as the band worked through songs from both their Moí Wax debut, From Here On In, and their pending newby, With The Tides. There was no ìPaint The Silenceî or ìBroken Head,î but the strength of the tunes shone through, like Tides number ìColours In Wavesî and especially on the newest single, ìLoosen Your Hold.î Joel quipped often about the strangeness of the surroundings and thanked everyone for their support, which was quite vociferous at times. By the time the final song had come, the band had switched instruments with each other numerous times and led into the final number by saying that they felt quite at home at the Lock, since it was one of their boozers of choice. The final track was an homage to that, the theme from Cheers, which elicited a lot of laughter in the beginning, but had the crowd in full voice during the chorus. It was a fitting ending to a short but sweet set and one that hopefully sets the tone for the success of the bandís forthcoming sophomore album.