This little guide to Villagers will attempt to tell the story of the band as they break into new territories and ride the wave that is the Mercury Music prize nomination.
Conor O'Brien is Villagers. He fronted the Indie band The Immediate whose debut album 'In Towers and Clouds' from 2006 was well received by the media and went onto getting a Choice Award Nomination. The band split in 2007. Conor then went onto being an integral part of Cathy Davey's tour band and musical collaborator for her most recent album 'The Nameless'.
Here's Conor in 2007 with The Immediate:
In November 2008 the first Villagers gig was as support to The Chapters in Whelans. 2009 saw the release of the Hollow Kind EP consisting of the tracks Down, Under the Sea, Pieces, The Meaning of the Ritual and The Sun is Hanging from a String.
I can't believe 'Becomming A Jackal' was only released in May. It feels as though it's been with us for much longer. The album was very well received by all the relevant reviewers and bloggers out there. There was a sense at the time that these reviewers and journalists were tripping of themselves trying to get original superlatives in print. See here, here and here!
There's a lot going on in 'Becoming A Jackal' and I don't get it all. It sounds like a singer-songwriter trying his best to not sound like a singer-songwriter. There's plenty of moody backing vocals, orchestral arrangements and complicated hooks and rifts which make the album very multi-layered and sometimes uneasy to listen to. The better tracks for me are 'Twenty Seven Strangers', 'That Day' and 'Pieces'. 'The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever)' is an awful track and the real low point of the album.
I suppose the truth is I've yet to connect with the album, Villagers or for that matter Conor O'Brien. Maybe when I see Villagers live it'll all mean more to me. From the videos and TV performances I've seen; Conor is a passionate performer on stage and I've no doubt I'll love the Villagers concert experience.
Listen to 'Becoming a Jackal' Here:
Villagers - Becoming A Jackal by musicmusicmusic
I love the ambition in the Villagers camp. Conor will be busy over the few months with all the following dates. More info on the website above!
Villagers World Tour Details!
North America & Canada
22 Sep 2010 21:00 400 Bar (solo) Minneapolis, MN
23 Sep 2010 20:00 Milwaukee Film Festival @ Discovery World (solo) Milwaukee, Wisconsin
24 Sep 2010 21:00 Schuba`s (solo) Chicago, IL
27 Sep 2010 21:00 Drake Underground (solo) Toronto, ON, CANADA
28 Sep 2010 21:00 Mavericks (solo) Ottawa, ON, CANADA
29 Sep 2010 21:00 Pop Montreal Festival (solo) Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
30 Sep 2010 21:00Rescue Rooms Nottingham,
4 Oct 2010 21:00 Brighton Ballroom VILLAGERS + Cate Le Bon Brighton,
5 Oct 2010 21:00 Scala VILLAGERS + Cate Le Bon London,
6 Oct 2010 21:00 O2 Academy 2 VILLAGERS + Cate Le Bon Oxford,
8 Oct 2010 21:00 Lancaster Library VILLAGERS + Cate Le Bon Lancaster,
9 Oct 2010 21:00 The Plug VILLAGERS + Cate Le Bon Sheffield,
19 Oct 2010 21:00 RIckshaw Stop San Francisco, CA
20 Oct 2010 21:00 The Music Box Los Angeles, California
21 Oct 2010 21:00 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
22 Oct 2010 21:00 The Clubhouse Tempe, AZ
24 Oct 2010 20:30 White Rabbit San Antonio, TX
26 Oct 2010 20:30 Emos Austin, Texas
27 Oct 2010 20:30 Warehouse Live Houston, TX
28 Oct 2010 20:30 Granada Theatre Dallas, Texas
29 Oct 2010 20:30 Rev Room Little Rock, Arkansas
30 Oct 2010 20:30 Exit In Nashville, TN
1 Nov 2010 21:00 Kung Fu Necktie PHILADELPHIA, PA
2 Nov 2010 21:00 KNITTING FACTORY BROOKLYN, NY
3 Nov 2010 21:00 Mercury Lounge New York, NY
4 Nov 2010 21:00 Great Scott Allston, Massachuse
7 Nov 2010 20:00 La Cigale (Les Inrocktibles Festival) Paris, FRANCE
9 Nov 2010 21:00 Luxor Cologne, GERMANY
10 Nov 2010 21:00 Das Bett Frankfurt, DE, GERMANY
12 Nov 2010 21:00 The Paradiso (London Calling Festival) Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
13 Nov 2010 21:00 Doornroosje Nijmegen, NETHERLANDS
14 Nov 2010 21:00 Stage Club Hamburg, DE, GERMANY
15 Nov 2010 21:00 Festival Kreuzberg Berlin, GERMANY
17 Nov 2010 21:00 Botanique Rotonde Brussels, x, BELGIUM
18 Nov 2010 21:00 Le Grand Mix Tourcoing, Nord-Pas-d, FRANCE
19 Nov 2010 21:00 Crossing Border Festival The Hague, The Hague, NETHERLANDS
20 Nov 2010 21:00 Vera Groningen, NETHERLANDS
21 Nov 2010 21:00 Crossing Border Antwerp, Antwerp, NETHERLANDS
Back to the UK
29 Nov 2010 21:00 Academy 3 Manchester,
30 Nov 2010 21:00 Rescue Rooms Nottingham,
1 Dec 2010 21:00 Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth,
2 Dec 2010 21:00 Phoenix Exeter,
4 Dec 2010 21:00 Thekla Bristol,
5 Dec 2010 21:00 Institute Birmingham,
6 Dec 2010 21:00 Oran Mor Glasgow, Scotland,
7 Dec 2010 21:00 Waterfront Norwich, Norfolk,
9 Dec 2010 21:00 Cockpit Leeds,
10 Dec 2010 21:00 The Sage Gateshead,
11 Dec 2010 21:00 Kazimier Liverpool,
Finish in Ireland!
13 Dec 2010 21:00 The Forum Waterford,
14 Dec 2010 20:00 The Set Theatre Kilkenny,
15 Dec 2010 20:00 The Savoy Cork, Co,
17 Dec 2010 20:00 St John's Church Limerick,
18 Dec 2010 20:00 The Black Box Galway,
19 Dec 2010 20:00 The Limelight Belfast,
21 Dec 2010 20:00 Vicar Street Dublin,