Caribou Live In London

An awesome set from a valuable and inspiring act
Caribou
It’s official: Caribou, one of my favourite artists (although a full band when playing live, as tonight) of the past decade, is – rather sadly for me – no longer a bit of a secret. Corsica Studios is rammed to bursting point, and although it’s a small venue, the demand for tickets and general buzz around Caribou is hard to ignore. Clearly, the glorious tones of new album ‘Swim’ (for my money, the best record of the year so far) have done the trick.

After an enjoyable support set of lively beats and bleeps from current hot-ticket Gold Panda, Dan Snaith and his band climb unassumingly onstage and launch into a succession of tracks from ‘Swim’, the fluid, organic electronica of which is given a Caribou psych-rock twist in a live setting. ‘Jamelia’ is beautiful, ‘Sun’ is trippy and vast, and ‘Odessa’ is wonky and wonderful.

The Beach Boys-harmonies of ‘Melody Day’, from previous album ‘Andorra’, are also just as lush and perfect as they are on record, again demonstrating Caribou’s unique knack of sounding authentically retro and yet utterly contemporary at the same time.

Snaith’s fascinating, wholly successful return to a primarily dance-based aesthetic has now added a further groove element to an already substantial live sound, such as on ‘Bowls’, with its fuzzy bass backbone and twisted techno riff, which causes even the most reticent of heads to nod along.

As is customary for Caribou gigs, at several points Snaith puts down his guitar and accompanies on a second drum kit, helping to building up huge rhythmic walls through immense whig-out sessions – a fitting finale to several songs.

The crowd love it all. They’d be fools not to. An awesome set from a valuable and inspiring act.

Words by Tristan Parker

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