Midlake set for Glasgow date
- Claire Sawers
- 1 February 2010
When skateboarder turned TV man named Earl, Jason Lee fell for Midlake’s sound, it was love at first album. After hearing their 2004 debut, Bamnan and Slivercork, Lee got onboard with both feet, and bells on. In the past, Lee has promoted the lo-fi Texan rockers, invited them to perform at skateboarding events he’s hosted, and directed a music video for them. Now they’ve brought out a third album,The Courage of Others (released this fortnight), their number one fan has directed a short documentary about them, which they’re putting out as a deluxe DVD-vinyl combo for fans of their soft folk-rock.
Although Midlake’s heart belongs in their beloved Denton, Texas (where Lee filmed that early video for ‘Balloon Maker’), their minds tend to wander elsewhere on their albums. The sounds of Laurel Canyon could be heard in the hippie haze of flutes and carefully-strummed guitars of their last album, The Trials of Van Occupanther, and that same American West Coast flavour seeps through on The Courage of Others. But 70s Britain seems the biggest inspiration this time around, with Nick Drake’s melancholy and Fairport Convention’s lilting melodies echoing throughout. Alt-country moments and big, hooky-as-hell choruses remind us that this is indeed music from cowboy country, even if it does sound like a druid or a forest sprite may skip past at any moment. A peaceful, wistful, moss-covered take on folk-rock.
ABC, Glasgow, Mon 15 Feb