Cambridge Corn Exchange
Monday 6 December 2010
Gig review by Glitterbitch
Walking in from a chilling December evening, the Cambridge Corn Exchange feels even more draughty and spacious than usual as the biting wind cuts through all the open doors. Maybe it is for this reason that more people than usual are huddled together, like emperor penguins, in the main auditorium to watch the first support band Dive Dive, three quarters of which is made up of Frank Turners backing band. Catching only the very end of the set turns out to be both a disappointment and a gentle tease as the band instantly grab me and leave me wanting more. They are powerful and harmonious and completely unexpected. Ending the set with an avalanche of riffs, refrains and beats that punch through the air, there is a quirky Biffy Clyro / Smashing Pumpkins - esque catch to Dive Dive that promises much.
Ed Harcourt appears alone on stage next and completely changes the mood. Close your eyes and you could be listening to Jeff Buckley, such is the depth and intensity of his voice. He plays with a plethora of instruments akin to The Eels and The Guillemots but somehow his solemn brilliance seems lost on a youthful crowd more intent on making their own noise than appreciating his.
By the time Frank Turner arrives on stage the Corn Exchange has mostly
filled up, although not completely sold out. Having frequented smaller
venues in recent years this is a big step up for the charismatic singer
song-writer and it is an anxious wait to see if his intimate sing-a-long
show will translate to a bigger arena.