Damon & Naomi @ Chorlton Dulcimer 3/9/09

September 6, 2009

(250-worder for citylife.co.uk)

When Damon & Naomi started recording together in the early 90s, they didn’t consider playing live, thinking a band without a rhythm section would be ‘the worst kind’. It’s credit to their talent that they made it work, especially as the duo started out played bass and drums themselves.

Naomi Yang is a renowned bassist, having developed a unique approach to the four-string whilst with the influential, reverb-soaked 80s indie stars Galaxie 500. Tonight, however, she plays synth, producing suitably celestial organ tones to flesh out Damon Krukowski’s simple, resonant acoustic guitar. High and higher harmonies hang in the air and the music floats serenely, unencumbered by the earthy tones of the traditional rhythm section.

Clearly blessed with enormous brains, Damon & Naomi chat amiably between songs, sharing urbane jokes about misheard lyrics and apologising for selling ‘coals to Newcastle’ by performing an English folk song – the stark, beautiful ballad ‘Cruel Queen’. This, along with the sumptuous ‘New York City’ and stormily graceful ‘I’m Yours’ (both on new compilation album The Sub Pop Years) are the highlights of a classy set. In spite of the glacial pace of the songs, the show spins past quickly and seems over before it’s even begun.

It’s strange to see legendary indie figures in your local pub, but such is the way of things since Dulcimer became a full-time microvenue. A word of warning, though – arrive early if you’re coming to a show here, as you won’t see much from the back.


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