Speakers Push Air

December 15, 2007, 7:09 pm
Filed under: 2007 Top 20

One of the drunkest performances I’ve ever seen was Zach Condon of Beirut at Glastonbury this year (straight after Tinariwen, in fact). Probably his biggest crowd to date, it had probably all got to him – he was battered. Not in a louche, boho way. Just really drunk. Drunk like you and I get drunk. Dropping his instruments, forgetting his words, mumbling his banter.

But nothing he did could reduce the power of what he was doing. His debut, Gulag Orkestar (mostly a solo project) was a revelation, but got him a lot of flak for somehow being ‘inauthentic’ (a lot of this flak came from Eugene of Gogol Bordello, who accused Condo of misappropriating and watering down gypsy music: so presumably, Eugene, The Clash were from Kiev?). Fuck ’em

The 2007 album, Flying Club Cup, sees Condon’s band more involved, and French chanson and street music getting mixed in, and it’s lovely. Although there’s nothing as good as Postcards From Italy off the last album – but you wouldn’t expect there to be – the album might even be better than the debut. His voice is great on this, the sound warm and melancholy, the songs wonderful.

Beirut – In The Mausolem
from the album The Flying Club Cup (4AD)

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