The Ironbath got to see The Civil Wars back in March in a packed gig at the Bristol O2. The duo were riding high with tremendous media support resulting from their double Grammy success. Personally I felt that Joy and John Paul both looked tired – although the last time the Ironbath saw John Paul he was recovering from sea sickness so didn’t look too hot then either.
In all honesty it is difficult to compare a gig when you’re stood at the back or the highest balcony, with a gig on Cayamo when you’ve a front row seat, but the duo have barely stopped over the last year. It was telling when Joy announced that she was pregnant and John Paul said it was just so that they could have a break (Joy then curtly replied that having a baby wasn’t the same as having a break).
Looking at their schedule it doesn’t seem that there is much of a break between their Bonaroo performance in mid June and the start of their 23 date European tour at the end of October. The Ironbath fears that it might be too much.
The Civil Wars are renown for throwing in a few covers during their set – normally Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ or Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’. At the Bristol show they added a local surprise to the list.
Portishead was a genre-bending band in the 90’s that introduced a form of trip-hop to the mainstream charts. They were named after their home town, an industrial town in the shadow of Bristol. The gritty realism of the town was reflected in the sparse music.
The Civil Wars performed ‘Sour Times’, from the debut album ‘Dummy’ and they subsequently released a vinyl single for Record Shop Day. You won’t find it on iTunes but here is a video of the recording.
And in case Portishead passed you by here is their beautiful song, ‘Give Me a Reason To Love You’ that showcases Beth Gibbons raw vocal amongst the intricate melodies and sounds that form the soundscape.
Meanwhile when The Civil Wars played in Louisville a few weeks back it seems that there was a minor wardrobe issue. This message was tweeted:
@thecivilwars john, being a brother here…. Looked like your fly was down when introducing the opening act… Louisville!
Let John Paul tell the rest of the story – while Joy struggles to keep a straight face….