Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Live in 2015: Tim Bowness at The Louisiana, Bristol on Tuesday 25th August 2015

It is quite a coup for The Louisiana in Bristol to have Tim Bowness. 

Tim Bowness - one half of No-Man, one of the side projects of Prog mainman Steven Wilson has come to Bristol as part of a very selective tiny tour in support of his new solo album - Stupid Things That Mean The World.

Tim's last solo album, the magnificent Abandoned Dancehall Dreams was almost my Album Of 2014 last year.

So there was no way I was going to miss a chance to see Tim play live at a venue not too far from me - he rarely plays live at present so this was a rare treat indeed.

His band for the evening were

Andrew Booker on Drums - Colin Edwin on Bass - Stephen Bennett on Keyboards & Michael Bearpark on Guitars.

Andrew, Colin & Michael came on first and played a instrumental track for about 20 minutes where they showed their obvious competence as musicians.

Tim then came on to join the band with Keyboard player Stephen Bennett and the show opened with the first track on the new album - The Great Electric Teenage Dream.

For tonight's show - Tim has pulled songs from not only his last two solo albums but also from his No Man days.

With such a small band, the musicians involved do a great job in reproducing the subtle textures of the newer albums and the more industrial rocky sounds of his No Man project. 

An early highlight for me was one of the best tracks from Abandoned Dancehall Dreams the driving The Warm Up Man Forever.

Press Reset and Sing To Me from the new album were up next before the first of the No Man songs - Time Travel In Texas from the Wild Opera album from 1996. 

Tim's onstage demeanor is rather intense - he regularly looks directly into the crowd - no stage antics but often moves to the side of the stage to let the musicians do their thing through the longer instrumental passages of tonight's performance and often seems lost in the music at several stages. Although the stage is so tiny in The Louisiana, there isn't really anywhere to go!

Two more new songs from the new album followed - Know That You Were Loved and the title track Stupid Things That Mean The World. Several of the tracks chosen for tonight's performance were of a more reflective nature - or lots of songs about death, as Tim puts it, which makes the more dynamic songs stand out even more.

Dancing For You was a slight calm moment before the sonic assault that was up next.

The next track was a sonic attack of the No Man song Housewives Hooked On Heroin.

Abandoned Dancehall Dreams contains several songs about a character called Smiler and tonight Tim chose to play Smiler At 50. This happened to be the last track of the set.

And as Tim introduced the band we find out that the guitarist Dr Michael Bearpack has now become a Professor. Check him out.

In the Louisiana, the band have to go through the crowd to get on the stage - so the band stayed on for the one track encore and the final No Man track of the evening,

All The Blue Changes from the 2003 album Together We're Stranger.

It was a pleasure to see the man perform songs that are clearly built for albums listening. The band did a great job this evening and let us hope that Tim decides to do a longer tour - and come to Wales this time as I like to see him again.

Twitter - @TimBowness

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