Tindersticks: Novi Sad, Serbia, May 11, 2012

Tindersticks: Novi Sad, Serbia, May 11, 2012
Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Pozorište mladih
Novi Sad, Serbia
May 11, 2012

Two decades into its career, the British band Tindersticks has plenty to be happy about. It's been 20 years since the band released its first single, which means that 2012 marks its anniversary, and there is the new album, the critically acclaimed The Something Rain (Constellation Records, 2012). While most bands, after an existence spanning at least a decade are, as conventional wisdom states, simply content just to consolidate past glories, Tindersticks is actually getting better with age. Since its beginnings, the band has been steadily drifting away from the Zeitgeist, carving its own path despite current trends. Never truly enormous, it has survived largely because of its songsmith abilities and an enviable live reputation which has forged the band its loyal fan base.

Midway through its current tour in support of The Something Rain, the band has hit an impressive number of cities in recent few months. Anticipation for Tindersticks' Serbian gig was high, with people gathering early at the Pozorište Mladih (The Youth Theater), in the center of Novi Sad, as there was a supporting opening act, the French multi-instrumentalist Thomas Belhom. Tindersticks sauntered onstage smiling and waving, despite having traveled 25 hours from the previous city on the tour. Creating an immediate sense of intimacy at the theater brought a relaxed, warm energy and an easy confidence to the room, as the band blended its newer material with some of songs from its past.

The group opened with "Blood," a beautiful and fragile song from Tindersticks' self-titled 1993 debut, with singer Stewart Staples' shivering baritone reaching tender emotional depths. This was followed by the equally gentle "If You're Looking for a Way Out" and the riveting "Dick's Slow Song," with Staples sharing vocals with keyboardist David Boulter. Just like its records, the band has always favored low-key opening tracks to lure an audience into its own enchanted world, and these songs were a perfect warmup to what was to follow.

The introduction of the new songs actually made a big difference and shifted the whole vibe to appropriate and exciting heights. "Chocolate," started as a tranquil and ruminative piece of music featuring Boulter reciting his prose poem, beginning with the perfectly appropriate opening lines:

"It had been the perfect Friday afternoon

the job was almost done."

It evoked a melancholic, Pink Floyd-esque kind of sonic embroidery not unlike "Echoes," from Floyd's Meddle (Harvest, 1971), and built on dynamics for the next ten minutes. Adding to these dynamics were "Show Me Everything" and, even more, the hurried and emotionally charged "This Fire of Autumn"—a beautiful and captivating outpouring of emotions, with Staples pouring his heart and soul into every word. The band enjoyed an easy harmony and seemed to genuinely enjoy playing together. After so long on the road, Tindersticks has sharply honed its act; its undiminished love of music was evident and notable. What was also noticeable was the group's ability to connect to its audience in a way rarely seen these days.

In the end, the band rewarded its enthusiastic audience in kind, with 18 songs (including two encores) featuring songs like "4.48 Psychosis," "Medicine" and "Cherry Blossoms," as well as Staples asking for songs that were not in the set list. Much to his amusement, and with a grin on his face, he played the first chords of "Tiny Tears" on acoustic guitar, a semiprecious stone from the band's earliest years, eventually turning and asking the band to help him out. This only added to the band's charm after 120 minutes of a carefully selected set list, with only occasional glances at its enormous back catalog.

The show went way above the expectations, to say the least. At the evening's close, the audience treated the band to several standing ovations that must have lasted well into 10 minutes. The Tindersticks produced a spellbinding evening that comprehensively showed its songwriting and performing talents.

Photo Credit

Nenad Georgievski

Related Video


More Articles

Read Panama Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Miles Electric Band at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Miles Electric Band at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Flow Tribe at the Gramercy Theatre" Live Reviews Flow Tribe at the Gramercy Theatre
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "WOMAD 2016" Live Reviews WOMAD 2016
by Martin Longley
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "The Julian Lage Trio at Signal Kitchen" Live Reviews The Julian Lage Trio at Signal Kitchen
by Doug Collette
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club" Live Reviews Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 28, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!