Supporting Teenage Fanclub at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire 26/2/17
Euros cuts a mild mannered figure when he arrives on stage. “Would you mind if I played a few songs?”, he enquires hunched over his electronic piano, before bouncing into a jaunty tune, “Tete a Tete”, that relieves the slight awkwardness of his shyness.
His next track is reminiscent of the Beatles “Good Morning” in its opening, before merging into something resembling a Cat Stevens tune from the 60’s – it is easy to get lost in making references to a diverse range of influences from both the 60’s and 70’s. His high-pitched, soulful voice, cuts over the rolling piano beneath it.
The third tune couples boogie-woogie piano with a romantic story set between a bike store and a fruit and veg store. Slightly bluesy with funny lyrics, by now we have settled into something of a rhythm. His songs though reminiscent of a more innocent age, are slightly twisted, with the next one praising “the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen”, before following her home and appearing uninvited in her front room. Wry and self-effacing, the fusion of dark comedy and melodic piano is both endearing and thought provoking, questioning the conventions of pop music.
As the show continues, more and more, his songs remind me of the Kinks, in the sense that they tell stories through a series of images and familiar places to imagine them in. Gradually, Euros starts to relax and though he remains hunched over, his feet beat out a more intense rhythm, his songs intense and wistful, his voice at turns low and high, painting fragmented pictures with occasional high pitched yelps.
For the final song of his set, Euros is joined by Norman Blake from tonight’s main act, Teenage Fanclub. Together they are a little like Simon and Garfunkel in their close harmonies, and the song “Ursula Crow” brings his set to a close. It’s a nice moment, as is the big cheer Euros gets at the end of the Teenage Fanclub set when he is thanked again for coming along to perform at such short notice. There is also a nice contrast in what Euros is doing now compared to his work with Gorky’s Zygotic Mynic. Stripped back to piano and vocals, the songs are left to stand for themselves and in this setting they shine.
(Photo credit: Carlos McGarvey)