After supplying loose drums for Richard Youngs’ support slot (**), Damon Krukowski reveals their collaboration on forthcoming drone-folk album Amplifying Host was orchestrated at a distance, the two having never played it together in the same room before tonight. Perhaps that’s why the four-song set never quite gels, coming off as slightly monotonous and meandering; suffice to say, the record it’s designed to showcase is a wholly more satisfying listening experience.
When Krukowski re-takes the stage with Naomi Yang, the pace might not lift but pleasure levels undoubtedly do. Joined by long-term collaborator Michio Kurihara on guitar, they lead unexpectedly with a cover of the Stones’ Shine a Light, its melancholic gospel a perfect fit for the pair’s distinctive vocal style. It’s followed by tracks from the soon-to-be-released False Beats and True Hearts, in which Kurihara’s resonate fret-work muscles forward, yet nimbly avoids trampling over Damon & Naomi’s trademark fragility.
Highlights come from 2005’s The Earth Is Blue: Ueno Station is preceded by a Tsunami-relief appeal and recollections of playing in Stirling with poet and musician Kazuki Tomokawa, while A Second Life draws things to a close with all the delicate poise we’ve come to expect from the ex-Galaxie 500 duo.