Live review: James Holden, Meltdown Festival, London 17/6/14
My second trip to this year's Meltdown Festival saw a trip to The Purcell Room for Holden's live interpretation of last year's album 'The Inheritors'. Support came from Not Waving a.k.a. Alessio Natalizia (who's also half of Walls). He had some good tunes and a rather dubious taste in accompanying video clips.
Holden's live show sees him take to the stage accompanied by a live drummer (Tom Page). The addition of this one extra element elevates the show by such a surprising amount that it's about 5 times better that it was on record. The interplay between the two of them is great (they're positioned so that they face each other on stage) and, is weird as it may sound, the whole thing becomes almost jazz-like. Despite being another seated venue there's a great atmosphere (although I did see someone who got up to dance get forcibly told to sit down again) and people get completely absorbed by whatever it is that Holden's doing with his bank of coloured dials and spaghetti-wires.
James Holden & Tom Page, Purcell Room, London 17/6/14
The show closes with one of my favourite tracks, 'The Caterpillar's Intervention', at the unfeasibly early time of 9.45 and we stumble out, blinking, into the still-light London evening. In a way this was even better than the UNKLE show I saw a few days before - concise, compact but still creative, it showed that Holden is a force to be reckoned with and will be for a long time to come.