Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Jeffrey Lewis and The Junkyard @ Thekla 27/04/2009
The warming up of guitars accompanied by the humming sounds of Fletcher, the only female member, was a sweet introduction to a swaying, stomping boat ride at the Thekla. Jeffrey started the set with 'Sea Song', my particular, most repeated tune. 'Sea Song' is a ride on the open seas and a submerging into the depths of the fishy, murky bottom, as the fish are made anthropomorphic, and you sail in a clear submarine. It takes you away from the mundane you may be experiencing. His voice was a little crackly at the start, with its strong American drawl tearing out the lyrics. I imagine that his voice has been used all day and night, discussing his observations, views and musings. His scratchy voice soon heated up however, whilst retaining his rusty raw sound, and the tunes flowed up, round and very central. The band speckled the slower songs with a smack of punky, which Jeffrey and his brother Jack seemed to enjoy chaotically. The other two members looked on, as the brothers delved head first into their punk love. A sibling thing, that happened to make a seriously inspiring sound. Jeffrey (and the band)is very likeable. His comments between songs are like those made by your friends, 'one' can imagine sitting around on robust logs with him. Punctuated by words like ‘gosh!’ and 'darn!', love it. Towards the end, Jeffrey transformed the audience into a class and gave a lesson with a song and a comic book on the troubles in Korea. An unexpected education, illustrated through the powers of music and art. His new album tracks:'Upside down Cross', and 'Broken, Broken, Broken Heart'...along with the rest of the album. Excellentile. Let the tunes speak. Jeffrey has the poetic lyrics, the mind, the hope and the belief in people to make some of the best music around. And live, he is even more than just a performer. He truly is a poet, a thought provoker, an educator and an instiller of faith in the goodness of people and yourself, as you trundle through life.