DAVID KILGOUR with LAMBCHOP at Lee's Palace, March 7. Tickets: $18. Attendance: 400. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
for those not paying close at-tention Thursday, it was hard to tell when David Kilgour and his band finished tuning up and began to play.Sliding onto the Lee's Palace stage with a minimum of fuss, the New Zealand singer/songwriter and the four members of headliners Lambchop who were backing him sketched out a few notes and then drifted unassumingly into a languid instrumental. The volume never rose above a low roar, but five minutes later the room was transfixed.
There was a quiet intensity about the music. The concise pure pop jangle of crackers like Today Is Gonna Be Mine, from Kilgour's new Feather In The Engine disc, could have been lifted directly from his 20-year songbook with the Clean. Played with maximum energy at minimal volume, the 30-minute set had a tremendous effect, especially on Kilgour's own backing band.
Admittedly, it's not every day that you get to play with someone who received the New Zealand Order of Merit from the Queen of England, but for the Lambchop guys it was more of a great chance to play something with a pulse that allowed them to shake around a bit behind their instruments.
Even Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner briefly appeared onstage to sing backup vocals and duck during Kilgour's bristling guitar solos. Considering the beautiful but hushed piano-lounge feel of Wagner's own headlining set, a pick-me-up was definitely in order.