Silver Jews and Alasdair Roberts @ The Bongo Club

a poet who has learned the joy of a wall of amplifiers

Article by Sean Michaels | 15 Jun 2006

There are few better surprises than learning that Alasdair Roberts is opening an already marvellous bill – and there he was, acoustic in hand, eyes closed, singing a song about the waxwing. But even that was eclipsed, almost utterly, when David Berman and the Silver Jews rose to greet us. Berman was smiling like this was all a big joke, like clearly this could not be real – our hollering as he readied his notes on the music stand. Then they began: and oh, they were so alive! Poetry bounded round the room and we galloped to the Jews' noisy country rock. When Berman told us it was his sixteenth gig ever, the look on his face was the look of a kid who has discovered to bicycle on his back wheel. Of a poet who has learned the joy of a wall of amplifiers, guitars ringing out like live Virginian birds. [Sean Michaels]