Cate Le Bon
23 April 2012
Village Underground, London
Marking the release of her excellent second album, Cyrk, the mop-topped Cate Le Bon is softly spoken in her chatter but surprisingly strong-lunged on the mic, adding a spiky vigour to her usually more fragile bedroom-pop songs. The Welsh songwriter spent last year touring America solo in support of St Vincent, but this time Le Bon's backing band of friends and collaborators suits her, as she gets stuck into guitar while a ramshackle ruckus kicks up and the beat stays steady but loose, like the best kind of '60s garage band.
White horses flicker into Siamese twin skeletons in the background, providing a jarring visual addendum to some deceptively odd lyrics: “If it pours in the daytime, we'll have to stay indoors, I'll milk the time you're sat with me.” Any folky comparisons encouraged by her lo-fi recording style can be binned, though – the Velvets-y shuffle of 'Falcon Eyed' and the gloriously ugly final bars of closer 'Ploughing Out Part 2' are pure rock and roll in the whimsical vein of her label boss Gruff Rhys, while her solo encore is a deliberately dirgey and weird thing, her voice clashing joyously with harsh organ keys. Bon, you might say.