Wednesday night we were treated to, UK based, CYMBALS’ first ever stop in SF at RickShaw Stop. While the crowd may have been a bit hesitant, as the Wednesday crowd often is, vocalist and guitarist Jack Cleverly looked to get the crowd going early by immediately hoping off the stage and preforming the beginning of “The End” amongst the fans. As he put it, “…might be Wednesday out there, but we are in here.”
Usually billed as a four-piece, they appeared as a trio dropping a dedicated bassist for the show. Cleverly was joined by Luke Carson, on keys and bass, and drummer, Neil Gillespie. The group played a mix of upbeat dance rock, mixed with darker, more brooding songs like “Winter ’98.” The reverb on the guitar was cranked in that very 80s, drawn-out style that hung in the air after each pluck. Add the pounding drums, synth and keyboard and you got a very rich sound. Every song was a jam, with some pushing the seven or even eight minute mark. You could compare CYMBALS to LCD Soundsystem, Duran Duran or New Order depending upon which song you were hearing at that moment.
Listen to my favorite of the night “Erosion” off their album, The Age of Fracture, from February.
Cleverly puts on quite a show with animated hand gestures, jumping around the stage and even crashing the cymbals with his guitar from time to time. Singing in both English and his native French, he really brings an energy to match the music. It made me wish that they had played here on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night where the crowd could match the energy on stage. When Cleverly was singing amongst the crowd, most people seemed to be at a loss, not sure if they should look at him, or move with him.
Looking forward to new music from them soon, but for now I will continue to play the shit out of “Natural World” and the rest of The Age of Fracture.