Teleman and Gentlemen at the Portland Arms, the perfect way to end the warmest day of the year so far?
Opening the show, Gentlemen had a full, engrossing, retro sound. The six members of the band clearly love their music, from the rocking openers to when they are immersed in the depths of psychedelia and the instrumental explorations of Pink Floyd’s early albums on ‘Late Nacht’ and ‘Gentle Duke’, the songs that ended their short set.
Teleman were formed from the ashes of Pete and the Pirates, a guitar based indie pop outfit. I saw them perform at the Leicester Summer Sundae Festival in 2011 (I do occasionally venture further than Cambridge…) and they played a great festival show to an appreciative audience.
I had realised Teleman were a change in direction, into more keyboard based songs. They did not disappoint, poignant lyrics were delivered clearly by singer and guitarist Thomas Sanders, his plaintive tones cutting through the interesting mix of varied keyboard sounds from Jonny Sanders along with a firm foundation of drums and bass. They played many tracks from the new album, being released at the start of June.
‘…Thanks for appreciating our quiet songs Cambridge…’. We did. And the rockier moments, and especially the haunting atmosphere of harmonium and voice on the first single ‘Christina’ and the catchy familiarity of later tracks ’23 Floors Up’ and ‘Steam Train Girl’. I like the way that the songs speak for themselves, no need to overdose the volume or artificially build up the track to a big finish. There was waltz time, a vocoder robot voice, a swirling fairground organ controlled but threatening to overwhelm the song, the twists and turns kept on coming.
It was an excellent performance, perhaps the release of the album will lead to a deserved bigger audience….