Cameras @ Workers Club
Despite some initial sound and setting-up issues which saw them begin almost half an hour late, Cameras did an incredible job of creating the deep atmosphere which swirls up around you when listening to their tracks recorded. Lead vocalist and keys player Eleanor is very tall with exceptionally long legs and a haughty mouth, and as such had some problems deciding whether to use the rickety chair provided for her or get her band mates to lift her enormous instrument while she adjusted its stand. Once they were on their way though, Cameras had the crowd’s attention for the whole set.
Opening with Polarise, Eleanor’s brilliant projection saw her thick but delicately controlled voice bowl to the room’s corners. Drummer Ben Mason (who looks rather like John Turturro in Barton Fink) used open snare to great effect, and the 16ths on the hats were just crisp enough to make the awesome light/dark duality work. Vocalist and guitarist Fraser Harvey showed his graceful ease on stage straight away, and his voice provided a great James Murphy-esque counter to the female vocals.
Break Hands’ intro was absolutely gorgeous, with Eleanor really showing her piano chops. At its conclusion she seemed quite genuinely emotionally affected from playing it. During Patience, It Was The Truth guitarist Mike Murphy (whose birthday we all applauded) sang along to himself while Harvey took the lead mic. In fact, Murphy sang happily along to most tracks which I just love seeing; there’s an uninhibited joy in it, when the audience obviously can’t hear (hence not for their benefit).The following track saw Eleanor back on the mic and bawling it out like a zeppelin coming down on fire: slowly, with incredible mass and gravity, and scarily beautiful.
Just before Kruezberg, Harvey needed a break. “Wait, wait wait,” he said, picking up his glass and zooming it towards his face, “it’s been like three songs since I had wine.” I think a good portion of the audience realised this was true of themselves as well, as the show was so intense it promoted short-term amnesia. During this track and the next, Eleanor got a little excited and rushed her thumping keys which detracted slightly from the gallop but otherwise it was hard to fault her – an excellent musician.
I understand now why, as Harvey said during our Beat interview a few weeks ago, people stand quietly and just ‘take it in’ at Cameras’ shows: you want to thrash around to the drums beating against your ribs (this is certainly danceable stuff), but you also want to keep still to make sure you hear every single note.
BY ZOË RADAS
LOVED: So loud.
HATED: Extended equipment problems. No soundcheck prior?
DRANK: Dirty Granny.