High expectations can pretty dangerous. Money's debut was rich and cinematic, approaching both intimate and universal themes with equal and honest enquiry. Lyrically, it's poignant, poetic and fearless, seemingly referential of a broad range of art forms and their differing translations. It's thematics have a real literary depth -- their tumblr originally linked through to the Wikipedia page of Austrian poet Rilke, whose lyrical poetry is intensely existential, and confronts - inline with Money's own lyrical poise - the anxiety of living, and the challenge of dying.

I've watched a bunch of videos online that involve frontman Jamie Lee acting weirdly and enigmatically. He jumps on chairs and engages in long and involving monologues. He plays pianos in pubs to disinterested locals. He scares children. All the while sporting a devilish grin that suggests a winning concoction of various deviances. There's something sexy about him -- and if that sounds weird, well yeah, it kinda feels it too.

I stumbled into London's Heaven - an ironically subterranean venue - late and disorientated, weaving through a crowd puzzlingly comprised of attractive middle-aged women, men I assumed were their adjoining partners, multiple ageless arty types and the usual cohort of young professional nothing-doers. It was an oddly balanced crowd - equal part engaged, equal part vacuous.


The set began cinematically -- an indistinguishable form at the piano, basking in an ethereal column of light. The first delicate chords of 'Goodnight London' were aroused, an artfully simple ballad that captures the physical and spiritual intensities of living in London - its plethora of interrelations, contrasted with the dull ache of anonymity.

It was an intense entry point, and in a sense, the rest of show became a kind of fruitless climb back toward that initial impression. Certainly, the band weaved through the album with precision; beats exacting and anthemic; vocals shifting from rich and otherworldly, to assertive and grounded - isolated by tenderly struck instrumental breaks. The albums emotional climaxes translated into momentous live segments that crystallised - as light on dark - the moments of stillness and silence.

But still - it was simply a recreation, and by no means an expansion. Money played their debut album but didn't appear to live it. Frontman Jamie only acknowledged those in the audience he knew, picking out faces and laughing inwardly. In fact, his entire attitude drew more on jester than poet - rather than the poignant balance I hoped and imagined he'd strike. In the least damning sense -- it all passed me by, I left underwhelmed and unaffected.

Regardless, I'm not done with Money. And oddly enough, I'd see them again. The benefit of the doubt feels like an odd and guilty pleasure in this game - but here, somehow - It's likely I'll indulge.










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