Andrew Bird’s “…and the mysterious production of eggs” has justifiably become one of the year’s most acclaimed albums (it only has one competitor as my favourite) and his recent set at UICA came close to measuring up to its high standard.
The album draws much of its strength from its eclecticism, balancing on the edge of the freak-folk movement but with a welcome injection of jazz and swing influences, and it was quite a surprise to see only two people on stage. Through judicious use of sampling and a versatile keyboard, Bird and collaborator Martin Dosh built a rich sound based around Bird’s violin (plucked and bowed), keyboard, guitar and percussion. While relatively stationary on stage—when singing and playing multiple instruments, there’s not much opportunity for movement—Bird’s an expressive performer, reinforcing and exposing the songs with his facial expressions.
I need to start exploring his back catalogue.