Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stage fright?

Alan Davidson was 12 years, and 20 LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and CDs into his music career before he finally played a live gig back in 2002. So what finally prompted Davidson, who performs and records under the name The Kitchen Cynics, to finally hit the stage for the first time?

"The only reason I'm playing live is drink!" he joked in this interview. "I got somewhat inebriated at Terrastock 5 in Boston, where Tom Rapp kindly asked me to sing a verse of 'Another Time' with him."

Since then, Davidson's gig list (and lager habit; kidding, kidding) has grown significantly. He's supported The Iditarod, Charlemagne, and The Incredible String Band. Most of Davidson's shows take place in his hometown of Aberdeen, but he has made the occasional foray outside the city limits: doing a set at Nozstock in Bromyard, performing at a Nick Drake tribute weekend in Tanworth-in-Arden, and playing on a radio show with Irene Trudel in New York.

As for Davidson's music . . . . "His songs combine ancient folk roots with a lo-fi psychedelic aesthetic that effectively blurs the line between Syd Barrett and Pearls Before Swine," wrote critic George Parsons. With The Kitchen Cynics, it's all about light and shade: Gentle, breezy guitars and hushed vocals thinly veiling a world of bitterness and despair. Strongly recommended.

Hear it for yourself Download: "Jennifer Is There Anywhere?" by The Kitchen Cynics, a track from the album Seagul Girls.