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Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - 12 Bar, London, 30/9/2007

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 28 / 9 / 2007

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - 12 Bar, London, 30/9/2007


The Agnostic Gospel Mountain Choir are obviously capable of serious force with their fierce gospe-esquel blues, but at the 12 Bar in London Dan Cressey finds them on strangely subdued form

If they really are agnostics they have a funny way of showing it. Raging though blues numbers this night they resemble nothing more than a group of fire and brimstone preachers expounding to some frightened congregation. Their closing number, a thunderous version of the gospel classic ‘John the Revelator’, especially was possessed with some righteous energy. They quickly retract their opening promise – “We’re going to play extra fast. Anyone got any qualms about that?” – after the furious first song. After admitting “This one’s not so fast, I lied about the fast thing” they develop the softer side of their sound, no mean feat given that the tiny stage contains a huge double bass and what looks like a giant circus drum and a tin helmet as a cymbal. Sometimes this works, and other times the quieter numbers lack the impact necessary to carry a crowd. As they showed on their ‘Fighting and Onions’ album in 2005 the choir are adept at fierce gospel-esque blues, all jangling guitar and banjo and apocalyptic rhythms. For some reason though the band never really seem to hit their stride in this short set. There are moments that shine through – the aforementioned 'John the Revelator' and the awesome ‘Oh Sorrow’ from Fighting and Onions – but overall it is a strangely subdued outing for a band so obviously capable of serious force. Still, they would seem a band worth keeping faith with.

Picture Gallery:-
Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - 12 Bar, London, 30/9/2007

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - 12 Bar, London, 30/9/2007

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Ten Thousand (2008)
Flawed, but fascinating second album from Mississippi blues and Appalachian hill country-influenced Canadians, Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir
Fighting And Onions (2006)

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