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Mt. Desolation / September 2010 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Thursday, 26th August 2010 at 8:30 am
 

Supergroup Mt. Desolation (comprised of Keane‘s keyboardist/songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley and touring bassist Jesse Quinn, Ronnie Vannucci of the Killers, Tom Hobden of Noah and the Whale and Winston Marshall of Mumford and Sons) have announced a intimate club tour of Ireland and the UK for September. Most tickets are £10 except for London (£12), Dublin (€15) and Brighton (£9). You can purchase tickets now via this link.

Friday 10th September 2010 – Dublin Whelans
Sunday 12th September 2010 – Nottingham Bodega
Tuesday 14th September 2010 – Newcastle Academy 2
Wednesday 15th September 2010 – Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Thursday 16th September 2010 – Inverness Hootanannys
Friday 17th September 2010 – Stornoway Woodlands Centre
Saturday 18th September 2010 – Ullapool Loopallu (festival show)
Sunday 19th September 2010 – Fort William Watercolour Studio
Tuesday 21st September 2010 – Isle of Mull An Tobar
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 – Dundee Fat Sams
Thursday 23rd September 2010 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Friday 24th September 2010 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 25th September 2010 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Monday 27th September 2010 – London Scala
Tuesday 28th September 2010 – Brighton Ballroom

 

Album Review: Mt. Desolation – Mt. Desolation

 
By on Tuesday, 10th August 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

There’s so many so called ‘super groups’ around these days. So much so we’re going to have to start dividing said super groups into yet further labels themselves, ala, super and, erm, not so super, super group. Are you still with me? Anyway. We have Josh Homme’s Them Crooked Vultures, Jack White’s Dead Weather, Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace. Oh, and er…Keane’s Mt. Desolation

Hey, hey, where are you going? Don’t run away just yet! I know Keane don’t exactly have the coolest reputation in rock and roll, but one shouldn’t judge pre-hearing, right? So I was very intrigued when Mt. Desolation’s album arrived in my inbox this week. The alt-country group was a project initially hatched by Keane pianist Tim Rice-Oxly and his fellow bassist Jesse Quin while “sipping Guinness by a fire in a nice old pub ” in Dublin. Quite a modest beginning for a band which ultimately landed the likes of Ronnie Vannucci Jr of The Killers on drums, Tom Hobden of Noah and the Whale on fiddle and Winston Marshall of Mumford and Sons on banjo (to name but a few). Bet you’re interested now, right?

Well. I don’t want you getting too excited. Despite this coming together of talent, Mt. Desolation’s self-titled debut really isn’t all that earth shattering (sorry if I burst your musical bubble). I think it would be fair to say this record is just a product from a bunch of fellows who are spinning some country tunes in their spare time. Hey, the official biography even states that Mt. Desolation was “without any motive other than just doing what they loved”. But in a way, this lack of world-domination sprinkles the record with an element of welcomed freshness. This is not a hard-going, serious record which you are meant to sit, study and ponder over. No, it’s a record merely meant for listening to and enjoying – just like the obvious enjoyment experienced by those who recorded it.

Tracks worth name-checking amid the album include opener ‘The Departure’, a gloriously upbeat number with a skippy piano and a chorus that Gram Parsons’ Flying Burrito Brothers would be proud of. ‘Annie Ford’s’ strong vocal and epic-poppy rhythm is pure Springsteen – just with a nice added injection of indie guitar – while the gloriously fun ‘Platform 7’s’ pacey percussion and boy-girl vocals make you want to hike up your skirt to reveal your cowboy boots nestled nicely beneath.

There are expected fillers – ‘Bitter Pill’, for example, sounds like an average indie-rock track, while the stripped back acoustic tracks like ‘My My My’ are somewhat hard to take seriously as emotionally-charged authentic country tunes, especially when the lyrics are a bit, well, cliché and rubbish – “I won’t lie, but sometime’s it’s hard to talk when you’re an old-fashioned guy. And all my life I fixed my blues with a glass of whiskey and ice. My my my, is all I’d say. Your heart died. But you remain.”. Ahem.

But still. There are some wonderful tracks on here. ‘Bridal Gown’ reveals itself to be a truly haunting number, with it’s sombre vox and weeping strings, while the slow-paced highlight ‘Midnight Ghost’s’ rich slide-guitar and swelling harmonies are smokily Southern – the country sound achieved at it’s purest by the band (despite those cliché lyrics making a return as the band make use of that old trick of name checking states – “I came from Carolina….through Virginia…West through Arizona, Texas and New Mexico”.).

So, for those of you who tread in fear around anything that mentions the word Keane, seriously, do not let their name put you off this record. If you like toasty Southern sounds, well, there is a decent collection of ditties to be found here. Admittedly, it does go off kilter every now and then, and hey, it won’t ever be up there with the country super groups of Crosby, Stills and Nash, but it’s still a nice record for turning the lights down to and just enjoying.

 
 
 

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