04 July 2008

Beck Review

Manchester Apollo Theatre
2nd July 2008

If people think about what a gig by Beck is going to be like, they might think of puppets or elaborate costumes or suits. They might also consider ditzy electronic beats and an electronic brass section, as he is well known for creating unusual yet highly funky arrangements.

It is strange then to see Beck turn up on stage looking more like a taller, thinner Kurt Cobain with no sign of any mini-me style puppets. His more laid-back appearance is accompanied by a full-on, classic rock concert with hardly any breaks in-between the energetic songs.

Starting with “Devil’s Haircut” from his seminal album “Odelay”, it is obvious that he just wants to bring the house down with some classic rock tunes. Nothing seems to stand in the way of him as he does this, hardly ever addressing the crowd and concentrating on playing as best as he possibly can, particularly through “Minus”, perhaps one of his hardest rock moments.

He played many songs from his new, critically acclaimed album “Modern Guilt”, which are short but fresh and still carrying the Beck insignia of unpredictability. It was definitely interesting to hear more of the new material before the album is released, and current single “Chemtrails”, a 60s inspired blast of psychedelic rock, sounded better live than it does on record.

A lightshow is the last thing on anyone’s mind, as the basic lights and simple black background stand in contrast to his previous incarnations, just adding to how much of an old-school show it really was.

You’re never quite sure what you’re going to get from a Beck album but one thing’s for sure: you’re always going to have a good time at one of his concerts.


  1. Having seen Beck six times this was eagerly awaited. What a disapointment. No show, no lights and a perfunctory performance. Worst of all his striking voice was lost in a fuzzy mix. Twenty minutes late and just over an hour on stage frankly he was taking the p***.

  2. Even though I have no idea WHO this band is, you can sure write a great review. lol. Ever considered writing for a newspaper or something? There are people out there who pay per article.

    - Jane Opal

  3. Hey Jammer,

    Haven't seen the show but I know how easy it is for the same show to come off totaly different on another night. No matter, I'm with Jane, your article is very good.


  4. Firstly re Jane Opal comment, I echo those thoughts. I was an ardent music mag reader in my youth, and you have rekindled the flame.

    AS for Beck, hit and miss with me, but hey who wants boring and pedsetrian. The Kurt Cobain quipe made me laugh


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