Live ReviewsRock

Live Review: And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead in Camden

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead played last night at Dingwalls in Camden, as part of a tour which coincides with the release of their latest album. Their ninth studio album, IX is a return to their earlier post-rock sound after a departure of late into the more progressive.
An appropriate venue, Dingwalls is dingy, low-ceilinged and stuffy; at one point lead singer Conrad Keely stated the obvious ‘it’s hot in here!’ to which bassist Autry Fulbright II responded ‘I always forget you guys have summer at the opposite time of year to us’. And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead formed in the early 90s in Austin, Texas, where it is also not summer in November. The band didn’t seem entirely with it throughout the gig, seeming bemused by their ‘fancy pedals’, and their between-song crowd banter consisting mostly of awkward muttering. Keely at one point forgot the name of their last album (Lost Songs), and forgot the name of the shop where he was to play an in-store acoustic set the next afternoon.
Luckily the crowd were more on the ball with helpful reminders, and so full of energy that uncontained it came exploding out of the writhing mass of people in front of the stage, ricocheting off the walls and occasionally transporting the odd crowdsurfer stagewards. The slightly tiered venue meant that from further back you had a clear view of the stage (unless you were unfortunate enough to be stationed behind a pillar) and a view from above of the moshpit, which was suitably testosterone fuelled. But rather than being a teenagers-revelling-in-their-first-taste-of-freedom moshpit, it was a proper shoving-and-hugging-in-it-for-the-music moshpit, the sheer and unbridled enjoyment tangible in the taste of sweat on the air.
And you can’t entirely blame the band for being not-quite-all-there between songs, as they were giving out every last ounce of energy to playing music. They came on for several encores, each more frenzied than the last. By the end their muscles were completely spent, frantically varying strumming technique and the music coming in sudden bursts from reserve stores of arm strength. They played until they could play no more, and then they played a post-show DJ set at Proud Camden and return to Dingwalls tonight to play their 2002 album Source Tags & Codes in its entirety.

Poppy Turner
Originally hailing from Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, Poppy is currently based in London. Music and writing both play a big part in her life, so it would seem natural to combine the two. When not writing about music or going to gigs, she writes poetry and studies at Queen Mary, University of London.