This free show served as a launch for Emma Pollock’s debut solo album Watch The Fireworks, out today on 4AD. Unusually for free shows at Mono, the crowd seemed more interested in what was happening on stage than in each other, which is always a bonus. The atmosphere was more that of a family get together than a gig. Indeed, she remarked that she’d not seen so many friends in one place since her wedding.
The Delgados were one of the few bands who seemed, in retrospect, to call time on operations at exactly the right point. The last two LPs, good though they were, were essentially refinements of a style established on The Great Eastern. Branching out on her own, Pollock hasn’t really changed the music radically. The accompanying band is still a four piece, although with keyboards more prominent. The most obvious change is that she sings everything herself, rather than splitting vocal chores. Delgados songs always benefited from a few listens before they clicked. So tonight I was at a disadvantage, not having heard any of the material beforehand. The general impression was a positive one. The tunes were strong, and it helps that Pollock has a warm, melodic voice which is always a joy to hear. I can’t say I was whistling any of the songs on my way home, but it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening.