Syd Arthur at Oslo Hackney
If the quality of Syd Arthur’s music stays at the same level of the magnificent Garden of Time, we could have the next Jeff Buckley. The Canterburian psych pop band have just released one of the year’s best songs, upholding the strong and important music tradition of a city famously rich in both literary and musical talent (Camel, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Hatfield & The North are among many notable groups to have emerged). The sound is a mix of progressive rock and avant jazz, tinged with a light melancholia and a taste for pop melodies – elements that are well balanced, as the band showed yesterday at Oslo in Hackney.
Thanks to their odd time signatures, jazzy guitar and in particular the great voice of Liam Magill, Syd Arthur played a superb live set. From the opening, Garden of Time, to Hometown Blues, from Autograph to All & Everything, they showcased the quality of their music, building to a psychedelic crescendo with Chariot Singularity and Ode Pulse.
It’s clear that the “Syd” of their name is in homage to the “Syd”, and from Barrett the band takes its shattered tempos and improvisation that make the music so sophisticated. These cerebral technical features succeeded in enthralling the audience (mostly of males in their 30s), even in this archetypal hipster venue.
A comparison with Jeff Buckley may seem a non sequitur, with Syd Arthur so clearly born of the Canterbury sound, but don’t forget Buckley used to play a live cover of Genesis – a proper prog English band!
For further information and future events visit Syd Arthur’s website here.
Watch the video for Garden of Time here: