Camera Obscura at Heaven
Slipping onto the stage to the lush backing track of a string section, last night Camera Obscura brought their indie pop sensibilities to London. The Scottish band played a sold-out Heaven as a one-off show in support of new album Desire Lines, their first in almost four years. Their nostalgic, vintage sound is the perfect soundtrack for summer and hasn’t altered much over the last three albums. With the late John Peel cited as a big fan, they must be doing something right and why change a winning formula? So it’s business as usual: the band started their set with Do It Again, the lead single from their latest release, which showcased singer Tracyanne Campbell’s sweetly fragile voice and trademark jangling guitar sound.
There were no surprises from Camera Obscura tonight though, delivering a set spanning their five-album career. They were all competent musicians and Campbell’s voice soared, especially on the country-tinged Fifth in Line to the Throne. Here, her vocals whirled around the venue and the jangle of guitars was stripped away in a beautiful moment of authenticity that punctuated the set with a different sound. Yet the consistency and lack of variation for the rest of the show left some members of the audience feeling a little disconnected. This wasn’t helped by the band’s lack of banter and long silences between songs. At one point, Tracyanne shared with the crowd that she is pregnant, which inspired some woops, but otherwise the band remained silent.
That said, Camera Obscura delivered exactly what you would expect: a well-played set of sugary indie pop, with the crowd starting to move towards the end of the set. Fan favourites Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken and If Looks Could Kill provided an up-tempo moment of head bopping and hip shaking. Camera Obscura have a devoted and loyal fan base who lap up this whimsical nod to vintage indie pop. Tonight, they may not have won over any new fans, but they definitely pleased those who adore them. And that’s no bad thing at all.
Photo: Anders Jensen-Urstad
For further information and future events visit Camera Obscura’s website here.
Watch the video for Do It Again here: