Originally posted on August 2, 2008
The Mercury Lounge played host to an eclectic collection of bands on Saturday night. It all started with North Carolina’s The Never, an earnest threesome with delicate and charming indie-rock songs crafted to show off their multi-instrumental talents. Deleted Scenes (who claim both D.C. and Brooklyn as home) were up next, with a harder, rawer sound that came across as an odd and compelling mix of Pink Floyd and Do Make Say Think.
Most odd and compelling of all, however, were NYC’s The Childballads, in their Cheekbone Hollows configuration (guitar/organ/drums). The music was blues and rock-based, appropriately and effectively presented with maudlin ingenuousness on Saturday night. The stage presence of the lead singer (no stranger to the NYC indie scene), and his banter with the organist/back-up singer bordered on theatrical, he presenting her with flowers in what came across as drunken flirtation, she humoring him in a benevolent manner and, at one point, asking him politely not to curse when he spoke to her. The attractive combination of his throaty and her smoky voice managed to captivate an audience otherwise uncertain what to think of (and perhaps a little frightened by) the self-deprecating and glib-seeming front-man.