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Port O'Brien London, Scala
Article written by
Paul M - Nov 29, 2009
In the 80s the Scala was a cinema club, alternating between arthouse flicks and niche fleshfests. It’s now one of the better small to mid sized venues and it’s here we catch Port O’Brien on their only stop-off in Blighty, prior to jetting off to Sweden. Right from the off, it’s clear that that they are in cheerful mood; the atmosphere far removed from the melancholia of their recent brilliant downbeat album Threadbare. They seem in party mode, with the four beardy boys engaging in steadily more risqué banter, culminating in a word game involving all sorts of muck and lewdness, which I won’t repeat here. Maybe the space muffins in Amsterdam the night before played a part or perhaps it’s just the fact that frontman, Van Pierszalowski, is celebrating a 25th birthday tonight. Either way the solemnity of Threadbare is stripped away and there’s a distinctive rock n roll energy in the delivery, with the biggest cheer for the driving REM-style rhythms of My Will is Good. The only downside is that the sole female, Cambria Goodwin, who adds a lilting charm and brittleness to the studio recording, is extremely subdued compared to her cohorts, and indeed does not perform for the second half of the set. She therefore misses the finale where the audience is invited up on stage for a raucous stomping hoedown. A terrific gig, full of surprises, it’s a shame it’s just a one-off for now.