Camera Obscura @ The Norwich Waterfront
The Norwich Waterfront is not the kind of place that anyone would choose to enjoy the delights of Camera Obscura. It’s small low blackened ceilings and greasy walls do nothing to enhance the bounding delights that Glasgow six-piece hug their audience with night on night. This music would be better enjoyed in lush velvet upholstered hall, with the audience decked out in ball gowns with space to waltz around the room with the music.
But it’s not, so lets get one with it. The truth is though that the Waterfront does make the band sound amazing tonight, and the groups USP, Tracyanne Campbell, sounds incredible. But then, she always does. What is so great about Campbell’s voice is that it sounds so effortless and bordering on casual that the whole audience feel warmed by the idea that maybe they could do the same, but in reality Campbell is just making a very difficult skill sound easy.
It’s the songs off latest album ‘My Maudlin Career’ that really shine tonight, ‘French Navy’ and ‘Swans’ whisking up a bubbling euphoria in even the coldest heart. This maybe exemplified in these particular tracks because they stand out so much from the rest of the set of songs. Strong dominating melodies conquer all in a show that at times gets a bit tired and samey.
The fact is that Camera Obscura deliver everything that is expected of them, and occasionally a little bit more, but their music restricts them from doing much more than just sway on stage and stay musically tight. Temporary new edition Nigel Baillie adds some energy and essential trumpet backing but even with this you can still feel your mind wandering. Their music is original and bounding with interesting ideas but unless you’re overly familiar with all their albums one song just turns into another. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to see them though, just make extra special effort to know their albums inside out.