The Shins soundtrack sweltering Reading

"Hello, Phoenix, Arizona!" says singer James Mercer. It truly is boiling here in Reading. There's no shade anywhere and people are flat out (as our previous blog shows) soaking up the sun. A perfect time for the summery pop of The Shins?

Trending Now

Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye: “We decided we were going to start a new scene”

The new issue of Uncut revisits the birth of post-hardcore in Washington DC

Mogwai: Album By Album

Founded in 1995 and initially a trio, Glasgow’s Mogwai made their debut with “Tuner/Lower”, a self-pressed seven-inch in thrall...

Pete Townshend looks back at The Who in 1967: “I don’t think I was angry”

Smashing guitars, hanging out with Small Faces and keeping Keith Moon onside

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Bob Marley

In-depths reviews and archive encounters with the reggae legend



“Hello, Phoenix, Arizona!” says singer James Mercer. It truly is boiling here in Reading. There’s no shade anywhere and people are flat out (as our previous blog shows) soaking up the sun. A perfect time for the summery pop of The Shins?



As the first notes peal out, it’s clear what makes The Shins so special: they’re fantastic writers, demonstrating some of the most gorgeous songcraft since Brian Wilson moved his piano out of the sandpit.

Songs like ‘Phantom Limb’ and ‘Australia’ contain chord changes to make you weak at the knees, melodic twists to melt your heart; but in weather when everything else is melting, The Shins are perhaps too languid for their own good.

Eagles Of Death Metal roused the crowd out of their heatwave stupor earlier with their punchy rock and roll, but The Shins are far too subtle and intelligent to grab everyone’s attention, especially when they neglect to play their most famous tracks, ‘New Slang’ and ‘Fighting In A Sack’.

Having said that, they do get a good turn out, and a lot of people erupt into cheers when ‘Phantom Limb’ begins. Through no fault of their own, today wasn’t quite the right atmosphere in which to see Mercer and co, but their talents nevertheless shone through.

Words: Tom Pinnock
Pic: Sonia Melot

Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Who, New York Dolls, Fugazi, Peggy Seeger, Scritti Politti, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Serge Gainsbourg, Israel Nash and Valerie June
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement