This Jeffrey Lewis article was written by Fraisia Dunn, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Having already done a matinee performance at 2.30pm, the evening saw Jeffrey Lewis’ second Kino gig of the day. A lovely support set warmed up the intimate venue, played by local two-piece, Paloma. Their brand of shoe-gaze, featuring cassette tape backings, guitar and complex drum patterns, along with their crooning, rhythmic vocal musings upon the awkward side of life were just the thing to get the crowd focused and ready for the main act.
Jeffrey Lewis has been performing for over ten years now. He has brought out many records and worked with many collaborators including Kimya Dawson, his brother Jack Lewis and he often has David Beauchamp on drums . The result is a diverse range of sound – there’s the most famous anti-folk Jeffrey, but there is also punk Jeffrey, political Jeffrey and comic-book artist Jeffrey. Of course, the joy is that they are all one man, and there is a continuity in his oeuvre. None-the-less, it is always impressive to see and hear this range produced so slickly, and with such sincerity and passion every time.
Highlights from the evening included the ‘Mosquito Rap’ – a rap about beating away mosquitos – and ‘Support Tours’ from their new album, ‘Manhattan.’ For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Jeffrey Lewis always incorporates a ‘lo-fi video’ (a showing of his comics) into a gig, this time he stood on a chair and sang about the life of ‘Watchmen’ author Alan Moore, whilst flipping through an A3 comic. Educational and fun. He also sang the classic ‘Williamsburg Will Oldham Massacre’, a rambling tale of the day he saw Will Oldham on the train as well as other oldies such as ‘Anxiety Attack.’
The best thing about this gig was how intimate it truly was; Jeffrey Lewis operates within a community of DIY indie rockers and it really feels like if you got everyone together who goes to see him, it would be, well; awkward. Feelings of social anxiety would be running high, but we would all be tied together by someone who is very good at expressing these sentiments.
He is a great performer and very open and approachable. Each member of the audience feels they are a friend of his and you can always have a chat at the incredible merchandise stall. There are some quality wares for sale: this tour features a poster of drawings of 100 songs by The Fall. His tour schedule is generous too, he is still doing over 12 dates in the UK before the end of the month – and you’d be a fool not to grab the chance to see him again and again.