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Wedding Present - Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 25/3/2005

  by Anastasia Grabov

published: 21 / 3 / 2005

Wedding Present - Forum, Tunbridge Wells, 25/3/2005


The Conway Story have named themselves after 17th century philosopher, Anne Conway. Ana Grabov in Tunbridge Wells finds them "just too tryingly melancholic to listen to for an entire set"

Wedged in the middle of a bill between the emotionally charged Zucchini, and the Glitterati’s sleazy and attitude ridden rock revival, the Conway Story added the third defining genre of popular modern alternative music; that easy listening indie sound that has helped the likes of Coldplay and Travis earn their riches. And so the trilogy was complete. To leave no doubt as to the mood of their sound Nik Owens (vocals/guitar), Jimmy Kerr (guitar), Russ Dyer (bass) and Lenin Alegria (drums) have named themselves after a 17th century philosopher, Anne Conway who lived her life in constant physical pain. Perhaps not to depress us too much they brightened up their set with an interesting array of colourful shirts, all the while singing about Conway inspired ideas of “seeking enlightenment whilst enduring pain.” Their sound has been compared to the Smashing Pumpkins and Placebo by such educated establishments as Rough Trade but I personally found it hard to recognize such a connection, perhaps because Nik Owens reminded me so much of TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin. It wasn’t just the mid-length curly hair, but mainly the brown leather jacket, worn with such self-conscious relaxedness that it was probably bought in preparation for better things to come. They are oozing enough of the radio-friendly vibe for this not to become too unlikely. Exposure is generally what they need. Despite displaying talented song writing and playing skills, unless you are an avid fan, this genre is sometimes just too tryingly melancholic to listen to for an entire set. The ability to sing along, or just distinguish each song would have been enough to liven things up just a little bit. If they can find the right route deep enough into this already overcrowded niche of a market they might just enter the melodic indie Hall of Fame.

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