Tag Archives: Healing Centre

Jeffrey Lewis, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 16 December 2015

A strong line-up at the Portland Arms again, first on stage was Emma Kupa; last seen fronting indie-edgy trio Mammoth Penguins she was giving a live debut to solo material, some from the mini-album ‘Home Cinema’. As a six-piece band, the acoustic guitar and banjo lends a country-rock styling to these tales of regret and longing. Emma has a distinctive voice, relaxed and affecting and as in her other band the musical balance allows it to guide the emotion of the song, shown to full effect in ‘Half-Sister’ and the catchy melody of ‘Consequences’.

After that well-received performance six-piece ensemble Model Village played a confident set drawing on their recently released and highly recommended album ‘Healing Centre’, the launch gig reviewed on this site at https://cambridgemusicreviews.net/2015/11/15/model-village-blue-moon-cambridge-13-november-2015/ .

‘Anti-folk’ performer Jeffrey Lewis plays guitar, sings, rants, raps, draws, paints, loops and tells stories and histories. Opening song ‘I Got Lost’ is a simple but heartbreaking acoustic delight, giving way to the political rant of ‘WWPRD’. ‘Support Tours’ is a neat wry summary of the position many bands find themselves in.
There was so much variety in this show; the epic eight minute ‘Back To Manhattan’ then the history of Vietnam narrated by Jeffrey as he leafed through his densely drawn comic book and a stealthy bass line kept it all moving. ‘Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror’ is an intense nightmare train journey with never ending lyric, ‘The Single Thing I Love Most About England’ (..is the food!) is an affectionate tribute and ‘Mosquito Mass-Murderist’ is a cautionary tale….
There was a cover of the Wave Pictures song ‘Too Many Questions’ then ‘Scowling Crackhead Ian’ and ‘Sad Screaming Old Man’ were unnerving characters featured on ‘Manhattan’, the latest album release.

And much, much more. Spot-on contributions from bass and drums kept the music sparking off the words through the whole of this memorable show.

(Quoted from a bbc.co.uk article: Lewis himself does not mind the ‘antifolk’ tag: “I think it’s a cool title. The fact that no one knows what it means, including me, makes it kind of mysterious and more interesting than saying that you’re a singer/songwriter or that you play indie rock..”)


Model Village, Blue Moon, Cambridge, 13 November 2015

Good to see another show at The Blue Moon, lined with sofas and Christmas lights, it was like your lounge at home but with better entertainment and beer. It was to celebrate two bands releasing their albums on the same day, Cambridge favourites Model Village and first on stage London quartet Chorusgirl.

Silvia Wersing is the songwriter, singer and rhythm guitarist of this stunning indie pop band, sounding like a jangly version of the Cure, B-52s and Talking Heads with one of the sharpest bass sounds I have heard live for a while. Opening with ‘No Moon’ (‘ice and ammonia, never been lonelier’ ), the vocals skate over ultra-tight backing. That was good but then ‘Dream On, Baby Blue’ was even better, that bass again and a catchy chorus. More deft tracks from the album, then a bit of a change with their Velvet Underground style cover of Bill Callahan’s ‘Ex-Con’ and then a strong finish with the urgent riff and soaring chorus of ‘This Town Kills’.

The album is ‘Chorusgirl’, they sound even better live, highly recommended..

There seems to be a band in Cambridge filling every musical niche and it feels good to be invited into the melodic dreamy rock of Model Village. With a six-piece lineup featuring 2 guitars, bass, organ, electric ukelele and guest drummer, ‘Red Chair’ is a low key opener that immediately shows the flexibility of the collective. There are varied instrumental touches and the smooth vocals of main singer Lily Somerville, also well showcased in ‘Sunlight’, the first of the songs from the new album ‘Healing Centre’ (‘a name taken from one of Cambridge’s most joyless-looking buildings’). The vocal duelling and overlapping in ‘Back Together’ is another strength as is the Steely Dan jazz feel of ‘Family Restaurant’ and ‘Sorry’. ‘Time To Share’ ended the set, an insistent rhythmic figure through the song all the way to a noisy finish.

Available as vinyl, download and cassette(!), give it a listen, this excellent new album is a grower.