Set after Franco-German act Slow Steve’s concert, Californian psych rocker Morgan Delt played the Kantine am Berghain yesterday. On a chilly and windy Monday evening, as tourists were still attempting to enter the former factory, we were presented with two quality acts.
Fronted by Remi Letournelle, a former member of Fenster, Slow Steve play a brand of indie pop but they do mix things up. You can sense a wide variety of influences in their repertoire: a bit of Ariel Pink on meds here, a bit of Two Door Cinema Club there, and Flavien Berger at times. But this, except for the keyboard player, all in a very static manner. The quartet flew through their set, ten or so well crafted songs and it was soon time to get another beer.
Starting the concert by playing the first two singles off Phase Zero, “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside” and “System of 1000 Lies”, the band set the stage for an enjoyable evening. Frontman Morgan Delt lists five flower power era albums as his all-time favourite, and his music is easily on par in terms of ethereal sounds being projected around the room. It really is out there.
The moment I was really waiting for was “Make My Grey Brain Green” and I was a little disappointed. Quite in the same way fellow psychedelia aficionado Jacco Gardner of the Netherlands is limited by stage performance, Morgan Delt has difficulties interpreting his studio work live. The mad transitions and movements were there, but they were too brutally executed. And though not quite loud enough to be classified as garage rock, the instruments managed to drown out the vocals.
It might be voluntary, 37 year old Delt being a shy man, and a graphic designer by trade before releasing his first EP on Trouble In Mind Records. He’s assembled a remarkable band to reproduce his songs live, in part because they are a tightly knit outfit, also because they look the part.
The band finished the set by playing the shortest of encores, one song, and they were off. I just hope he’ll come through Berlin on his next tour, with more material (he has only released two albums, so there’s surely more to come) and a better sound setting on stage.
Review by Patrick Bird, photos by Ines Soutschka