Saturday, July 14, 2012

4Knots Festival: Nick Waterhouse; Devin; Bleached

4Knots Festival: Nick Waterhouse; Devin; Bleached
@ South Street Seaport
New York, NY - July 14, 2012

The Village Voice's replacement for their beloved Siren Festival has been their now 2nd annual 4Knots festival, the first year of which I skipped altogether (except to catch the Ted Leo "pre-show" show on a day before the event). The location at the Seaport meant a more touristy crowd to mix in with the usual array of crowd clowns drawn to the slate of bands. There was the same old beach ball bull that happens at these things but a noticeable reduction in the number of shirtless "men" sporting handlebar mustaches, which is a plus.

Nick Waterhouse is a devotee of classic 60's soul, notably of the Ray Charles variety, as opposed to the Stax sound. He is just the latest in a long line of tribute acts, acts that run the range from really hard driven (the Heavy) to a little slicker (Fitz & the Tantrums) to the authentic and well-paced (the Daptone Records family). He falls somewhere in that spectrum. On occasion his outfit sound like something that would have just been a pleasant local weekend act in your humble home town, but then the band will spike it up, especially on Nick's slam-bang "(If) You Want Trouble". I hadn't intended to dance but "Some Place" was so infectious I started moving before I realized it. It couldn't be helped.

I walked around the way to see Devin on the smaller Pier 16 stage. Devin is the love child in look & sound of Howlin' Pelle Almqvist and Jim Carroll. His Voidoids-sounding rock n roll is the kind of pure stuff that can't be faulted though some of the songs wore thin. Still, it was all worth it for "Masochist", his should-be-a-hit.

Once Devin finished, I could hear the next band on the main Pier 17 stage and they were doing a cover of the Ramones' perfect song "Today You're Love, Tomorrow the World". It turned out to be Bleached, a California beach bunny band that wound up sounding almost exactly like the Dum Dum Girls, which is A-OK (certainly at this show and mostly in general).

Then I left and about an hour later, the waterfront side of the Seaport caught fire, half of the festival still to go. know...there's that.

What? Do I have to wrap up these reviews with a narrative-tying conclusion each time?


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