Review: A Classic Education @ The Cake Shop, New York. March 14th 09

A Classic Education @ The Cake Shop, New York by

free mp3: A Classic Education – Stay Son

For Fans Of: Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot.
It’s Saturday night in New York’s Lower East Side and the place is as buzzing as you’d hope it would be, full of ‘hipsters’ out for a good time. Tonight on Ludlow there are two gigs going on six doors down from one another. First there’s London based We Have Band at Pianos and then Bologna’s A Classic Education playing as support to locals My Teenage Stride at Cake Shop. Both foreign bands are, like me, on their way to SXSW in Texas and have taken the opportunity to come and dip into the Big Apple’s vibrant music scene along the way.

A Classic Education shouldn’t be as good as they are, I mean surely an Italian band with a Canadian front man = recipe for disaster? Not the case it would seem. They kick off at break neck speed with ‘Victories’, front man Jonathan’s voice due to poor (everything cranked up to 11) sound levels only just managing to rise over the formidable wall of sound of the violin, guitars, keys and drums around him. But the only way is up from there on in. During the infectious ‘We Can Always Run To Hawaii’, a love song we’re told, the band’s pop side shines through filling the long, narrow room with a warm wave of noise. The band throw in a daring cover ‘Radio Toi’, originally a French song translated years ago into Italian for a famous film (I missed the title I’m afraid) and now back into English by the band. Linguistic show offs! The song is a resounding success that indeed sounds like it belongs in A Classic movie.

There’s enough energy, depth and emotion in their songs to make this band a genuine success story. The perfect example of this is single and standout track ‘Stay Son’ with it’s soaring strings and beautifully delivered chorus of ‘Never mistake the fears rolling down your cheek, never mistake the tears rolling down your cheek’.

As long as they get a better sound quality I can’t see how they can fail to win hearts in Texas. Bring it on!

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