Alexi Murdoch – Bitterzoet – 07.04.2011

There was a full house at Bitterzoet for what was apparently Alexi Murdoch’s first headlining gig in Europe. He seemed genuinely surprised to see so many people there and he also seemed like a good guy. Sadly, I found most of the music to be just a bit tedious.

The songs all tend to start with a (beautifully played) riff on the guitar, over which he then sings lyrics that, for the most part, didn’t really connect with me. I can’t recall any song having an actual chorus. There’s no rule that says songs must have a chorus, but a few would have been nice. In fact, to my ears only two or three songs had any kind of hook at all. It’s not easy to stand and listen to an hour of music that seems to be designed to be anything but memorable.

I feel a bit bad being so negative about it – he’s a good musician and clearly has a lot of fans who love his songs, including our friend Chantal who recommended him to us. I just don’t understand what’s those fans are appreciating, at least in the live setting. His music reminded me a lot of Nick Drake, but even with the same mellow sound and intricate guitar riffs, Drake almost always included a catchy or memorable hook in his songs.

I’m afraid Alexi Murdoch didn’t set my world alight. Here’s some Nick Drake instead: