Gig Review - Andrew Bird


Nov 12 2007, 19h56

Last Friday night, I had the immense pleasure to see the wonderful Andrew Bird on absolutely top form at Koko in Camden (Fri 9 Nov – Andrew Bird, Loney, Dear).

Sadly, I arrived too late to here more than the last few bars from the support act, Loney, dear, so I can't make much of a comment on them. My arrival, however, was well-timed enough to allow me to get a drink, find a good vantage point, and have a quick chat before Mr Bird took to the stage.

Following a quick musical introduction, he kicked off both his shoes and proceeded to spend all of the gig bouncing round the stage in some very colourful stripy socks. From there he jumped right into a brilliant rendition of Fiery Crash and the night only got better from there. The set list was pretty heavily taken from Armchair Apocrypha, but with enough older songs to keep the die hard fans happy, I think.

Earlier this year I saw Andrew Bird at the Scala and I thought that was a pretty special gig, but he completely surpassed that on Friday. He had more energy, was chattier with the crowd, and even took a request to slip in a quick version of Dr Stringz. It was obvious he was really enjoying himself, the crowd were extremely appreciative, and his performance was pretty much note perfect.

He has a great ability to embellish his songs live, to subtly alter the rhythm, to add extended intros or outros, so that you really feel the show is giving you something extra. And then there's the whistling. I don't think I've ever heard anyone who can whistle quite like he does. My friend was astounded that he was able to produce it all without the use of any effects, just whistling through the same microphone he sings through.

The best bit for me came towards the end of the gig. As he was finishing his main set, I was just thinking, 'Oh, it's a shame he hasn't played Dark Matter or Scythian Empires, as they're probably my favourite two songs that he didn't play the other time I saw him. At which point, he launched into Dark Matter to finish the set, and then finished the encore with Scythian Empires. I was grinning from ear to ear.

Approximate set list:

Fiery Crash
A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
Opposite Day
Simple X
Dr Stringz (by request)
Dark Matter

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning
Scythian Empires


  • parvula

    Thanks for the review. I had the exact same thought about Dark Matter and Scythian Empires at more or less the same time you did. It was such a fun show and I'm really looking forward to seeing him again.

    Nov 18 2007, 10h54
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