T.E. Yates, A Counterpoint to a Counterpoint

This weekend I saw a bunch of bands, from crazed, leather-apron wearing Finnish weirdniks to non-leather-wearing old friends playing new (brilliant) songs.

I often make a song and dance over the idea that live is not – as opposed to the notion drilled into us at every conceivable opportunity – the be-all-and-end-all. There are a raft of reasons to treasure recorded music and support it as much as supporting artists in the flesh, most of which I will not bore you with here.

My main concern though, is this: Boards Of Canada probably couldn’t exist or begin to exist today.

Their record-centric approach (they played ‘live’ only a handful of times) allowed them to eke out an existence that they probably couldn’t attain in the post sales-slump world.

So I don’t hate live music in any way – but I do often try and offer a counterpoint to it. The performance is not everything. Except, of course, when it is.

Take T. E. Yates – his music sounds wonderful when heard in its recorded form (NB: now is a good time to click the player below), but soars and overwhelms the listener with nuance and subtlety in the flesh. I saw him last night and was charmed to bits.


T. E. Yates is a winning presence; engaging to the point of downright excellence, and his band is crammed with glistening talent. The audience was rapt and happy. His music is careful, cunning and luxurious in the same way that tweed is.

As a side issue, it is agonising to hear ‘folk’ music like this – music that deals with life now, or conjures up easily relatable stories – sidelined under a tranche of Mumford-flavoured waistcoat-folk-by-numbers. T. E. Yates, and his support last night, Louis Barabbas and Mikey Kenney of Ottersgear – are the real deal.

MORE: www.teyates.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *