Camera Obscura at The Forum
Kentish Town’s The Forum was host to mellow Scottish rockers Camera Obscura on a grey Thursday evening as they attempted to add some colour and vibrant sound to the packed-out venue. Upon arrival it was easy to see that the set would stick with a minimalistic vibe as effects and visual aids were nowhere to be seen: the group clearly wanted their music to do all the talking.
The resonating feeling that comes from Camera Obscura’s recorded tracks is delicate, melodic indie, produced by Tracyanne’s vocals and the band’s progressive instrumentals, but the question was whether these features could hold up in the live arena without seeming tedious.
The set opened with harmonic song Break It to You Gently, and whilst the track doesn’t hold the loud gravitas to wow an expectant audience, it did steadily float along doing exactly what it says on the tin. The set rolled on, flowing through numbers like New Year’s Resolution and Let’s Get Out of This Country, maintaining the same mellow feel without really sparking to life or peaking to a truly satisfying climax. Acoustically, The Forum struggled to support the band’s unique sound as audience chatter drowned out parts of the gig, suggesting the venue is better suited to rockier bands that can fill it with noise.
Audience interaction was rare throughout the set as the band seemed determined not to disrupt their hypnotic rhythm, and though this technique is successfully conveyed by bands like The Cure, it was a different story for Camera Obscura. The playing of French Navy (perhaps the band’s best-known hit) mid-way through also seemed an odd choice as the set peaked early and the sense of anticipation was lost. Although in small pockets the gig was a success, this could not be stretched to over an hour’s worth of playing, and the result was painfully dull and monotonous.
Photo: David Moore
For further information and future events visit Camera Obscura’s website here.
Watch the video for French Navy here: