Watching The Raincoats perform at the Great American Music Hall last night was an enormous pleasure. The whole experience had me wondering…could The Raincoats be a better band today than they were in the 1970s?
Musically, I think so. 26 years of playing their instruments has effected a more polished sound with a uniquely charged and graceful maturity.
Last night’s lineup included founding members Gina Birch and Ana da Silva along with mid-’90s addition, violinist Anne Wood. The band opened with ”No Side To Fall In” and continued on with tracks including “Shouting Out Loud,” “Black and White,” ”The Void,” “Pretty,” ”Only Loved at Night,” and a over a half dozen more choice cuts. The night’s opener, Grass Widow, was invited to back on stage for “Fairytale in the Supermarket,” and the evening ended with a Kink’s original, “Lola.”
Some bands do reunion tours and they’re ghastly. The Raincoats had the same potential to be a big miss, but they were very special to behold. Never thought I’d get to experience one of the most influential underground bands Britain has ever produced.
It was The Raincoats I related to most. They seemed like ordinary people playing extraordinary music. Music that was natural that made room for cohesion of personalities. They had enough confidence to be vulnerable and to be themselves without having to take on the mantle of male rock/punk rock aggression…or the typical female as sex symbol avec irony or sensationalism.
-Kim Gordon, liner notes from the 1993 reissue of Odyshape
If you want to see The Raincoats live, head to Seattle tomorrow night or Portland on Saturday, March 17th. Keep your eye on their blog for more upcoming tour dates.