The Twilight Singers/Jeff Klein London Review

The Twilight Singers/ Jeff Klein – First night reviews – Times Online
by David Sinclair – Garage, N5

On a sweltering night, the air thick with smoke and the floor awash with beer, the Garage is the venue from hell. It seemed to suit Greg Dulli, the leader and mainstay of the Twilight Singers.

A swashbuckling survivor, who started the Afghan Whigs in Cincinnati 20 years ago, Dulli is now on to his fourth album with the Twilight Singers and is still making some of the best music of his career. Tall and heavy-set, he punched out I’m Ready from their current album, Powder Burns, with a gangster-ish brio. His voice has an old-school, soulful quality, reminiscent at times of Graham Parker or Southside Johnny. He threw in a couple of Afghan Whigs numbers, including a fantastically propulsive 66, to the delight of the crowd. And he punctuated the set with strange, elliptical versions of other people’s songs including Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy and a timely quote from Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond at the start of an epic, blues-drenched Candy Cane Crawl.

Supporting the Twilight Singers was Jeff Klein, an intense young man from Austin, Texas, whose third album, The Hustler, was produced by Dulli. Accompanied by his own acoustic guitar, and a bunch of pedals that he used to build up backing loops, Klein embarked on a repertoire of wounded love songs which he delivered with an air of dark, brooding truculence. A sort of emo folk singer, with a haircut as distressed as his mood, he start ed off with Pity, a bitter cry of bedtime anguish. His temper didn’t improve when he broke a string on his guitar during the second number. He soldiered on with an electric guitar and gradually his songs of sullen desperation began to exert a strange fascination. “I’ll lay my burden on you for one last time,” he sang on California.

Later, Klein joined the Twilight Singers towards the end of their show. Playing a different guitar, he snapped another string. Finally, he cracked a smile.

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