Johnny Brenda's Presents

The Clientele

Ages 21 and up
Monday, July 29
Doors: 7pm
$25

*All events are 21+ valid ID required for entry*

7 PM – Doors
8 PM – Show

THE CLIENTELE
The Clientele’s ‘I Am Not There Anymore’ follows 2017’s ‘Music for the Age of Miracles’ (which arrived after a seven-year hiatus for the band), with new recording sessions beginning in 2019 and continuing piecemeal until 2022 —in part due to the pandemic and also because the band wanted the space to experiment. “We’d always been interested in music other than guitar music, like for donkey’s years,” vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Alasdair MacLean says. This time out, he — alongside bassist James Hornsey and drummer Mark Keen — incorporated elements of post-bop jazz, contemporary classical and electronic music. According to MacLean, “None of those things had been able to find their way into our sound other than in the most passing way, in the faintest imprint.”
This stretching out — what MacLean calls “a leap forwards and to the side” — can be heard clearly in “Blue Over Blue,” with its percussive samples and its moments where the arrangement opens up suddenly into something cinematic in scope, with horns and strings. “What happened with this record was that we bought a computer,” MacLean explains. Under the old Clientele way of recording, a tricky song like “Blue Over Blue” might’ve eaten up all their studio time, as they worked out the time signature and the instrumentation. For ‘I Am Not There Anymore,’ though, the trio would lay down a few tracks and then take them home to play around, trying out different arrangements before returning to the studio to finish recording all the little instrumental enhancements.
“Blue Over Blue” depicts MacLean’s scary adventure of being lost in the woods with his son, he explains: “‘Blue Over Blue’ is about getting lost in the woods on Hampstead Heath on an autumn day with my two-year-old son on my shoulders—he loved it and wanted to play hide and seek. I knew he was a ticking time bomb as I had no food with me and was trying to find my way back to a path.” The accompanying video sees the band adorned in armor beneath beautiful and abstract artwork.
Over the 32-year career of the pop band The Clientele, critics and fans have often described their songs with words like “ethereal,” “shimmering,” “hazy,” “pretty” and “fragile.” MacLean, though, has his own interpretation of the effect his music creates. “It’s that feeling of not being there,” he says. “What’s really been in all the Clientele records is a sense of not actually inhabiting the moment that your body is in.”

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