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Review: 'Chris Cacavas and Mat Hammond'
'Live At The Slaughtered Lamb, Clerkenwell'   

-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '9.12.19.'

Our Rating:
Chris Cacavas is back in London for the second time this year although this time he's playing solo promoting the new Home recordings cd rather than in The Dream Syndicate as he was in October.

I missed the first act but arrived in time to see all of main support act Mat Hammond's set, for anyone like me unfamiliar with Mat Hammond he was the singer and or bass player in The Sea Monkeys, Eurovox and The Form apparently.

He was playing solo with an acoustic guitar that right from the opening song Sunday World he was strumming like he was playing rhythm guitar in a band.

He introduced Give Into The Beat as being a Eurovox song as if most of us would know them, either way it was decent enough and may have been catchy if I heard it a few more times. So It Was came and went sounding much like the other songs he played as there wasn't much variance on the strumming.

California kept to the formula and is unlikely to be one of the first songs about California anyone thinks of playing. Let us Dance was the song he wrote for a friends first dance at their wedding and was a bit slower than the rest of the set and sounded like it might be a bit smoochy when played with a band.

He closed with his usual closing song Peace And Love And Rock & Roll that had plenty of the right sentiment in the times we currently live in as I think we all need more Peace and love in our lives. He went down pretty well not a bad opening act.

After the break it was time for Chris Cacavas who opened his set playing acoustic guitar and harmonica on the slow and dark tale of E-Z Living.

He lost the harmonica for Whose Your Whore off the recently re-issued Loves Been Discontinued and he really got into the pain in the lyrics it sounded great.

Disappear certainly didn't it was sort of whispered and heartfelt at the despair within the lyrics. Once the King laid the blame at the ex he was dissing in this break up anthem and no matter how much joking Chris does between songs the pathos within many of his songs like this one remain wonderfully intact.

Loving Tree kept the pulling at the heartstrings to a minimum preferring to stare deep into a glass of schnapps for redemption.

Chris strapped the harmonica back on for Bellyful Of Bullets which isn't something you want to end up with at the end of a relationship . Chris then played the closest thing he has to a hit in Pale Blond Hell and he lays out just what kind of hell she has him in perfectly sounding more desperate with every repeat of the song title it sounded great.

Then it was time to switch to the keyboards and sit beneath the Slaughtered Lamb's pentagram as he got some great wooshing sounds going and telling us it was going to be experimental and that was fine as he took us on a cool slightly tripped out ride through Sucker.

He then closed the set with California Into The Ocean that had some great sounds almost like the waves were breaking on the beach a lovely way to end a very cool set.

Of course he got an encore that he went more experimental on with some looped guitar and backing vocals as well as keyboards on Better Days and we are all hoping for some of those, this was a really cool version and I'd have liked to hear more of the songs given a treatment like this as it really added to the song and was a cool way to end the show.
  author: simonovitch

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