Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel live (Brixton Windmill, 18th January 2011)

When I went to New York in winter 2007, I stumbled across a documentary about seminal New York psychedelic folk pioneers The Holy Modal Rounders. They were having a sort of premiere/DVD launch at Anthology Film Archives and Jeffrey Lewis was introducing the film and performing together with Peter Stampfel. Here's a polaroid from that night.

It was a great night, so I was a bit hesitant seeing the two again. It was never going to be the same. Back then I was in New York for the first time, the event was hosted by a local brewery (meaning free beer) and it was a really intimate event....well, just not very busy at all. It was very special. Last night, you know, it was at a completely packed out Brixton Windmill. Just not the same. But, but...I needn't have worried. Both Jeff and Pete were on topform and despite it being the early show (late show tickets sold out before I had a chance) they gave it all, playing mainly Stampfel songs, with the odd Jeff Lewis "music video" thrown in. I don't think I've ever seen Jeff Lewis play a bad show and this wasn't any different. He's an incredible performer.

Here's a short video of them performing Stampfel's Black Leather Swamp Nazi, which is about as awesome song titles get. The song's pretty great as well. Sorry about the shaky camera.

Jeff Lewis and Peter Stampfel have recorded an album together, which is available now. It contains a great songs about collecting bottle caps. Appararently, Stampfel has more than 12,000 in his private collection.

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