Tag Archives: Of The Night

Bouquet Of Dead Crows, Portland Arms, Cambridge, 6 November 2015

The launch party for the new album ‘Of The Night’ from Cambridge rockers Bouquet Of Dead Crows. First band on were Londoners Cherry White, with some down and earthy blues-rock, vocalist Donata Sounds belting them out over some tight backing from a fluent rock trio, notable especially for some John Entwistle bass styling and some good contrasts of light and shade.

Gavin Chappell-Bates brought his sensitive tunes to the stage flanked by two microphones and a bank of pedals to facilitate an elaborate level of looping creating a multi-layered texture of sound, all from the acoustic guitar, voice and simple percussion. Impressive indeed. There is a warm and nostalgic feel to his songs, including recent singles ’95’ and ‘We Are The Ones’.

An exuberant performance from Cambridge stalwarts The Scissors impressed the growing audience, their sharp pop songs a riot of colourful Hammond organ flavoured keyboards, edgy guitar, crescendos of drums and punching bass, with some interesting lyrical twists. Hopefully a new CD is due soon, to include the dark blues of ‘Why Don’t You Cry?’ currently one of the standout songs in their live set.

As the stage filled with smoke the headliners arrived to a welcoming crowd. Opening with the slowly building ‘Everything Is Temporary’ then into the heavier delights of ‘Epicentre’ and blasting single ‘Just A Little More’, it is clear that the continual gigging and recording of these songs is paying off with a finely honed instrumental unity, topped with Antoinette Cooper’s confident vocals.
The dark riff of ‘Drownout’ pairs well with the sadness of ‘Without You’, ‘Fundamental Flaw Of Solitude’ sets us up nicely for the epic opus ‘Endless’ (its not a happy lyric, ‘over and over I’m drowning in the flames’) with one of the best instrumental work-outs of the evening. Time for a quick encore of early track ‘Implode/Explode’ (‘We should be killing time, but you’re killing me..’) then it was the end of the party.

Bouquet Of Dead Crows should be very proud of this album (with its striking design by Stewart Harris of The Scissors and triple gatefold sleeve..!) and it translates brilliantly to a live environment like the Portland, or of course to a larger venue…


Bouquet Of Dead Crows : Of The Night, released November 2015

After their boisterous double A-side single set the pace, a track by track review of the forthcoming album from the Cambridge four-piece rockers…

1. Everything Is Temporary. A distant wind blows in some pensive guitar notes; like many bands they have opted for a gradually building introductory track. The vocal sounds world-weary to reflect the title and the instruments have a subtle presence until it all steps up a gear, guitar crashes in and we have a fully developed anthem. A sinister electronic insect swarm ends the track and starts the next…

2. Epicentre. This is when the band kick off the earthquake, you can sense the pleasure they get playing this one, plenty of noise but some sophisticated and varied arrangements too.

3. Just A Little More. Released as a single and reviewed on this site, the track slots in nicely here. “…seems to cram a lot into the three minutes, opening with a guitar figure partly reminiscent of classic prog-rock ‘Heart Of The Sunrise’ by Yes (high-praise indeed!) and dominated by Antoinette’s powerful vocals and a strong hook line. A short bass interlude(Graeme Clarke) is some quieter relief then the track rocks to a heavy finish….”

4. Without You. Slower and sad, excellent sharp bass. As is clearly shown on this track the production on this album is excellent, capturing their ‘live’ energy and contrasting dynamics very well.

5. Drownout. Distorted and heavy, the guitar sounds like some stalking creature, threatening to engulf the vocal. Intense stuff, again with some nice bass touches.

6. The Fundamental Flaw Of Solitude. A lovingly crafted epic track, from the title to the bluesy intro and grinding riff. The hookline works into your brain effectively as does thunderous drumming and extra-low bass.

7. The Silent Path (Time Goes By). A gentler meditation on the nature of time. Acoustic guitar (and drum machine?) framework for some thoughtful lyrics and layered instrumentation.

8. Don’t Panic! The second song on the single, from my previous review “…starts with a thunderous guitar riff from Neil Bruce that hardly lets up and I am always pleased to hear dynamic drumming, energetic stuff from Andrew Coxall, especially in the anarchic instrumental break towards the end…”

9. Like A Flower. In full acoustic mode for this subtle but pivotal piece, featuring the album title line and some neat harmonies.

10. Endless. At just over seven minutes you know that this song is going to cover some extensive ground and it doesn’t disappoint. A catchy vocal line and some well developed instrumental passages.

The album will be launched at the Portland Arms on Friday November 6th…