A bit of Sunday folk – Bandstand Busking for Halloween survivors

Be it madness in Manor House or not, once Halloween’s done and dusted we’ll all be in need of some Sunday goodness, the pure and straight kind. And here’s an ample reason to stroll past the burnt out pumpkin husks, disgarded masks and green bloodstains that wreaked havoc mere hours ago: Bandstand Busking is back for its latest installment.

Bandstand Busking involves pretty-sounding bands playing on pretty London bandstands.  Where once these circular stages held countless shows, now most lay ignored and unused.  BB changes this, persuading up-and-coming folsky musical acts to play a few acoustic songs to a sleepy Sunday audience. The atmosphere is cordial, and quaint touches abound – blackboards, speeches, nice hats, even smiles…


There are two performers this week: first up, Sleeping States are a Bristol fivepiece centred around main man Markland Starkie (the kind of name where you just have to be famous).  Long buzzworthy but somehow never quite making it, they play mellow, hot-water-bottle folk with a pleasantly grainy feel.  Guitars and background arrangements throb along as Starkland’s soft, graceful vocals soothe like a cool breeze on a hot day. The lyrics are especially good, painting elegant pictures, and a Bandstand Busking show should offer the perfect chance to be enchanted by them.

Following next are The Twilight Sad, one of the brigade of braying Scottish epic-makers out there at the moment.  More straightforward than Glasvegas, this is intense, sublime rock: brooding strings fretfully follow James Graham’s portentous, oh-so-Scottish vocals as he builds up to the next peak, each song drenched in despair. This is a man who’s suffered in life, and he’s not afraid to tell you about it.  Quite how The Twilight Sad’s morbid sound suits the glare of a Sunday afternoon remains to be seen – but it could be utterly perfect. 


Bandstand Busking
2pm, Sunday 1 November – Northampton Square, Finsbury/Clerkenwell (map) (info)

Sleeping States on MySpace
The Twilight Sad on MySpace

MP3: Sleeping States – Gardens of the South (zSHARE)
MP3: The Twilight Sad – Reflection of the Television (zSHARE)


~ by ripamel on 30/10/2009.

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