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YOAV to do Better

YOAV to do Better

by Erin Clark, images by Dylan Geldenhuys / 20.01.2010

On Saturday night I was down at Assembly to watch YOAV and the so and so’s. I didn’t drink a single beer until I got there, because I really wanted to experience the music. What a bad idea. This article should actually be very short. Opener- The Privates: listenable; João Orecchia- don’t bother and YOAV- boring. But I’m a sucker for punishment.

At last I finally understand how a band can be classified by multiple genres. With The Privates, after every few bars the feel changes; the drummer, bassist and guitarist take turns; creating a musical chairs of grooves, if you will. They were well versed in reggae, funk, ‘swing’ and metal-among others. This is by no means a good thing, because one isn’t always sure if these are their real influences or just a mash up of pleasant grooves.

None the less The Privates were by far the most together- in terms of performances. You can see they are well rehearsed. I imagine they play a lot of weddings.

I was deeply disturbed by the second act: João Orecchia. I’m not sure what this chap was trying to achieve. He had a coffee table of samplers and pedals, a guitar on his lap and a mike in his hand- he was the picture of a novice busker setting up for his debut on the boardwalk at the Waterfront. He further indulged himself with a trumpeter and drummer who I will not name. They did all the hard work of keeping water out of the boat; to no avail. João’s samples were sometimes out of time. They overpowered every other contribution on stage, even his voice and guitar, causing a thundering mess constantly pierced by long howls of feedback. I fashioned earplugs out of tissue, but they only slightly eased the torture.

My opinion might have been different if he was trying to switch us onto some Håkan Lidbo shit, but of course he wasn’t.

Yoav under the lights

I’ll tell you this; YOAV got all the best lighting. I was curious to see if this one man out could keep his set from slumping. He had a guitar and a fancy pedal or two. And then I see this dude is barefoot! I heard some girl swoon, “it’s so that he can feel the pedals better” I threw up a little in my mouth. Even Stevie Wonder keeps his shoes on, man!

YOAV did hold the audiences interest, but that might owe to the fact that half were made up of his family and friends and most of the others were whatyoucallits.

I found his presentation lacking in innovation and gumption. All his tunes were in 4/4, and the little rhythms he knocked out on his guitar count for shit because they were just fluff. He might be a solo guitarist at first glance, but isn’t it cheating if you loop the bass line? Even James Blunt agrees.

I tried to talk to him after, but he quickly lost interest as the room filled with people who wanted to kiss his feet. Always remember; don’t take praise from fans as the gospel, they’re allowed to drink because they aren’t on the clock.

Some one informed me that this was middle of the road music. He said it with all the conviction of a doctor diagnosing a cold in winter. That leads me to believe that we have become accustomed to accepting mediocrity. Fuck that, I won’t.

You can listen to:
YOAV’s tunes here.
The Privates here.
Joao Orrechio here.

Images © and courtesy Dylan Geldenhuys

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RESPONSES (20)
  1. unfortunately yes says:

    I was at the gig and cannot disagree with your reviewer’s sentiments. Thanks for being bold enough to put it out there. Who wrote this?

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  2. Andy says:

    Hey sorry, story was written by Erin Clark…

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  3. tara says:

    i wasnt there so i dont know, but if someone isnt good, its up to the family and friends to let on that they shouldnt take to the stage. if not, this could be what happens.

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  4. Insha Lah says:

    very nicely put. João go >>>>>>>>>>>> thata way

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  5. unfortunately yes says:

    To be fair, Orecchia’s latest album has received a lot of critical acclaim (check the Isolation blog) and it has been released overseas, but his performance at this event was deinitely below par.

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  6. erin says:

    thing is anyone can sound good on cd

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  7. unfortunately yes says:

    Really? There are NO kak albums out there?

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  8. erin says:

    don’t be petty

    what i mean is live performance sorts the chaff from the corn

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  9. unfortunately yes says:

    Mmmmm, what we mean versus what we say or write can definitely be different and a lot can go missing between the mind and the mouth/page. Now the same could be said of a talented artist who happens to have a kak gig, for quality is not only determined by the degree of execution but also by the excellence of the ideas that lie at the foundation of the work. I have more time for artists who deliver a sub-par performance of creative and inspired ideas than for those who fluently deliver highly derivative and cliched work. Original and inspired artists tend to deliver more impressive recorded work, whereas those who are merely technically polished often don’t.

    What that means in this case is that we shouldn’t be so quick to write off the likes or Orecchia as a creative force on the basis of one gig, especially if there is other evidence (ie a critically acclaimed album) to the contrary.

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  10. unfortunately no says:

    Ok well it’s pretty obvious the writers brief was to go and review the live gig and not the artists’ albums.

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  11. Oliver Twist says:

    More of this girl!

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  12. Colin says:

    nice one!

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  13. eish says:

    the privates are terrible. they must just come to terms with the fact that they are a lounge band, and quit trying to trade on whatever Indie Cred they think they have (via jobs in advertising and ill-fitting plaid). There is nothing wrong with being a lounge band. Or a wedding band. Embrace. Move on.

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  14. Suki says:

    excellent, honest review. keep em coming EC.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Shit headline but you make a good point

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I Interviewed this guy four years ago after a gig at Opium in Greenpoint when nobody knew him. I wish I could tell you what he said but all he seemed interested in was getting more friends on myspace to listen to his demos. One of those classic all about the PR guys, all about the business of being a musician rather than the art of it. That said I was just another green, moleskine-clutching wannabe looking to be cynical so I’d sound more interesting. Nothing much has changed then.

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  17. Capps says:

    @ Unfortunately Yes – having good ideas and putting on a great live show aren’t exclusive… A talented musician should be able to hold his own on stage presenting his songs in their written form.

    I wasn’t at this show at the Assembly as I saw the show anonymous refers to at Opium 4 years ago (sunday night- songwriter night) and I am still full from the ego i had to digest that evening! But what I get from this well written and bold reviewer is that Joao’s show wasn’t just a one off ‘kak gig’… it was under rehearsed and he was unsympathetic to the ours on stage with him! which is the ABC of playing live, no?

    …and since when is the ‘isolation blog’ the reference point for critical acclaim?!

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  18. joe says:

    i was at this gig and have to agree,performances were under par,but then the sound system at assembly is far from first rate and i ‘ve seen some tops acts there suffer from poor delivery onstage.i have heard sound engineers complaining…interesting comment on loop pedals re-out of time and in 4/4.out of time loops can actually push music into other boundaries thru experimentation…some can be spectacular flops or vice-versa…the secret is in the embracement of happy accidents and taking music a step or more away from mediocrity and the general boom boom thwack attitude that prevails.good article and a great mag

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  19. ross says:

    as the unmentionable drummer in question, i’d like to just add that i wish you’d heard the soundcheck – really beautiful. the gig as you say was a mess – howling feedback and non-existant monitors meant i couldn’t hear a thing joao was doing and ended up playing a straight beat right over the top. if it sounded unrehearsed, that’s because it was – joao likes to get people in different towns up to improvise – otherwise it would always sound the same – he takes a risk, which is really great.

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