Venue: Cargo Support Bands: Tristan Prettyman Date: 12/08/09 Photography: Tim Boddy A special night. Over a year ago I missed the chance to see DeVotchka on their one tour date in London, just as they had become my favourite band in the universe. Now my long, patient wait for them to once again make their sole London appearance of the year was about to be rewarded. What can I say about DeVotchka that makes me worship them? They've got it all. Thrilling, romantic, frantic sounds from all over the world, played alongside and even fused with rock and folk roots, with the uplifting and heart-melting stories to match. Their music is a force and a sensation that has fascinated and overwhelmed me for two years running. As I watched the more beautiful, San Franciscan version of KT Tunstall that is Tristan Prettyman play her set, there were un-ignorable signs of DeVotchka's presence on the stage; Jeanie Schroder's colossal Sousaphone arching at the front of the stage and her double bass at the back, along with Nick Urata's classic microphone, and Tom Hagerman's majestic accordion at the side of the. Image and video hosting by TinyPic DeVotchka came out to an average applause, and throughout the set this applause grew and grew, until by the end of it the applause had turned into screams, howls, stomps and claps of praise. There's nothing better than a show where you see the band you know and love triumph by winning over every person in the room. The greatest thing about it was, as Tim pointed out, that at one moment they could have everyone dancing like a maniac gypsy (which I ended up doing with complete strangers) only to reduce the room to tears, have everyone swaying and waltzing, and then burst back into another long, manic dance number. Most of you reading this will most likely know DeVotchka for 'How It Ends'. Having grown a bit tired of this song I had myself convinced that I wouldn't have minded if they didn't include this song in the set. Oh, how wrong I was. The second that minimalist organ switched on I felt my skin pulsate in time with it. The room fell quiet, violin and accordion player, Tom Hagerman, assumed the state of a shut down robot, while frontman, Nick Urata sang the first verse. Suddenly there was an emotional sing and sway along to that unforgettable chorus, as the rest of the band came back to life. What also created a unique atmosphere was 'The Clockwise Witness'. The room fell dark, accentuating the red fairy lights covering Jeanie Schroder's Sousaphone, booming claps were let off to the rhythm of the plucking of Tom's violin and yet another extraordinary performance unfolded. Image and video hosting by TinyPic As a clichéd but nevertheless fun gesture, balloons were thrown into the audience after the band left, probably as some attempt to keep us all occupied while they rested a bit before the encore. That didn't stop the roaring cheers, which were amplified when DeVotchka came on once more. One of the most heartfelt songs of the night, 'Undone', was followed by the greatest show closer I'd heard since Rage Against the Machine's 'Freedom', which was DeVotchka's favourite live song, 'Such a Lovely thing'. They managed to stretch this out for an exceptional amount of time without it getting tiresome, and by this time, even the steadfast spectators, as idle as corpses, were joining in with the gypsy dancing. It was a breath of fresh air seeing DeVotchka, like going to a live show for the first time all over again. All that was missing was this song: