Time Being

Harold Budd and The Necks
The Capstone Theatre
21st November 2011

Live Music review by Sebastian Gahan

Time Being is collaboration between acclaimed ambient musician Harold Budd and jazz trio The Necks and it took place before a packed house in Liverpool's The Capstone.

The lights dimmed in the impressive performance space of The Capstone and Harold Budd came to the stage with one third of his collaborators for this tour, The Necks. All was momentarily silent except for the rustle of my notepad as a pitched electronic buzz filed the room, soon followed by some spaced drumbeats and Budd's excellent piano. Anyone expecting a rock out for this first part of the show was to be disappointed for it was an ambient pleasure, with the music drifting around the room like the sounds of waves it evoked in the mind of this reviewer. This was an almost forty-five minute performance piece – perhaps it could have been slightly shorter and had the same effect – it was a brilliant performance with Budd's piano impressing particularly.

His masterly keystrokes were forceful yet considered as he weaved a sound that was unique and almost classical in its form and although it was a wordless performance, there was really no need to use words as the music said it all. At the end of the first performance Budd took a bow and silently left the stage and while some find a lack of audience connection offensive this was not the case tonight as the audience spoke of his performance highly and I couldn't agree more.

The second set was a performance in the same lengthy vein from The Necks and although it started with the same quiet intensity as that of Budd's it soon developed an energy that became somewhat overwhelming towards the end. The delicate but lilting piano that opened the set sped up considerably to a repetition lead crescendo with the urgent beat of the bass and the vibrant yet considered drum beats that had the audience on their feet applauding at the end, although the called for encore never came.

Special mention should go to the projections behind the players that added a whole new dimension to the performance and impressed in their ability to help you understand the timeless message of the music.

Consider this another excellent night at The Capstone.

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