Connan Mockasin, St Vincent and more at End Of The Road 2014 – review

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at End Of The Road 2014 - review British Sea Power at End Of The Road 2014 - review Cate Le Bon & Sam Lee at End Of The Road 2014 - review Gruff Rhys at End Of The Road 2014 - review The Flaming Lips at End Of The Road 2014 - review Yo La Tengo at End Of The Road 2014 - review Richard Thompson & Tinariwen at End Of The Road 2014 - review As some of the stages draw to a close, I catch Swedish singer-songwriter Alice Boman over at the Uncut Tipi Tent. Joined by three other musicians, including a very subtle brass player, Boman charms the crowd with her extremely mellow, piano-based pieces.

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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at End Of The Road 2014 – review
British Sea Power at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Cate Le Bon & Sam Lee at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Gruff Rhys at End Of The Road 2014 – review
The Flaming Lips at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Yo La Tengo at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Richard Thompson & Tinariwen at End Of The Road 2014 – review

As some of the stages draw to a close, I catch Swedish singer-songwriter Alice Boman over at the Uncut Tipi Tent. Joined by three other musicians, including a very subtle brass player, Boman charms the crowd with her extremely mellow, piano-based pieces.

Preferring to attack rather than sooth is Woods Stage headliner St Vincent, whose set is beginning to reach its climax as I arrive. It’s certainly a disorientating spectacle – at one point, Annie Clark leaves the stage, bathed in the kind of flashing lights better suited to reactors nearing meltdown, while her drummer and keyboardist perform a sort of atonal, freeform jam which melts into the closing sections of “Your Lips Are Red”.

After the tumult a sleepier balance is needed, more than provided by the very somnolent Connan Mockasin.

His music has always been dreamy, suggesting altered states and fever visions, but tonight the New Zealander is even groggier-sounding than usual. Guitars are lathered in his usual chorus effects, but tempos are painfully slow, not ideal for a crowd at half 11 at night after a hard day at a festival.

Early tracks like “It’s Choade My Dear” and “Faking Jazz Together” cut through the haze with their Barrett-esque mix of wonder and menace, though most of the funkier slow-jams from last year’s Caramel LP are just too gloopy and smooth for their own good.

Mockasin gets a lot of laughs early on when he says he hopes the set is halfway between “exciting” and “not as exciting”. By the end, though, it seems likely there was no joking involved.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at End Of The Road 2014 – review
British Sea Power at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Cate Le Bon & Sam Lee at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Gruff Rhys at End Of The Road 2014 – review
The Flaming Lips at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Yo La Tengo at End Of The Road 2014 – review
Richard Thompson & Tinariwen at End Of The Road 2014 – review

Tom Pinnock

Follow Tom on Twitter for more End Of The Road coverage: www.twitter.com/thomaspinnock


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