Dark Captain Light Captain – London 100 Club 12/11/08
Touring their extremely good and many-layered debut LP Miracle Kicker, Dark Captain Light Captain appear to have grown not only in number (from two to six) but also in dynamic range. Their sound was once almost tiny – not in anyway wimpish – and certainly not as explosive as they now appear to be. The nucleus still appears to be original duo Dan Carney and Neil Kleiner, however, pulsing and juddering respectively as they have at the sweltering and very crimson 100 Club.
The majority of Miracle Kicker is aired this evening, with the particularly jaunty Jealous Enemies standing out (and garnering a bizarre wailing sing-along). Because of the intricacy of the band’s material, some clarity is lost in the mix and Kleiner’s electronic noodlings seem a little under-represented (and what happened to the clarinet?!), but this is ably compensated by the new verve and direction that the band’s live show has gained. They all sweat and shudder an awful lot, resulting in such athletic kineticism as to render all memory of the recordings, for the time being, void.
Heroically, quite a substantial amount of the intricacy and consideration that makes those recordings special is traceable even amongst this relative chaos. Dan Carney’s guitar lines are woven quite delicately amongst the occasional fury of the rest of his band, but never resulting in the muddying of a gesture. Robot Command Centre and B-side Mid-Session Interval see DCLC at the closest to their original two-pieced incarnation, with tastefully organised and executed extras added along the way. It is because of this duality, this sometime subsidence of detail for energy and vice-versa, that the band succeeds in the live setting. One step too far into either camp might derail the whole operation, and it is to their credit that this never once happens.
Visit the band at their MySpace, here.