Well here’s a bit of a mystery. Heather at Ugly Floral Blouse emailed me asking if I knew anything about The Clean playing Cake Shop at the end of the month. Um, no I hadn’t. A visit to the venue’s website did indeed show three — three! — nights featuring the legendary New Zealand band, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. This would be pretty big news if true, so I went to Merge Records’ website, the label who put out the entirely-essential Anthology (#85 on Blender‘s Top 100 Indie Rock Albums Ever) and there were the three shows.
It kind of makes sense. Singer David Kilgour is in America touring for his new solo album (my review of his recent Union Hall show here); his brother and Clean drummer Hamish lives here in New York. The big question is whether Robert Scott will be apart of these shows’ lineup. He’s the third constant in the Clean over the band’s nearly 30 year existence, who also fronts the wonderful Bats (who played Cake Shop, upstairs, last year), and that would really make it something. Otherwise, it’s the Brothers Kilgour. Either way, it will be the first time Clean songs have been played on these shores in a long, long time. I know they toured the U.S. in 1990 for their then comeback album, Vehicle. Not sure if they’ve been back since then (probably) but it’s still a big event. Certainly one you’d think wouldn’t have slipped out as quietly as this.
UPDATE: According to Cake Shop’s website, it is the Brothers Kilgour and Robert Scott… hooray!
The extremely nice Cake Shop folks obviously are Flying Nun fans, so I guess I can’t begrudge them having the shows but I do kinda hope they announce another show somewhere else, like Union Hall or Mercury Lounge. I can’t imagine the average Clean fan (mid-30s at the youngest) enjoying the nonexistent sightlines and other problems the venue has. But three Clean shows at Cake Shop are better than none at all.
If you’re unfamiliar with perhaps New Zealand’s most influential band, here are two gems, including the indispensable "Tally Ho." They’re both on Anthology which you should buy right now.
MP3: The Clean – Tally Ho