Bedouin Soundclash @ Le Studio TD

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It was Leeds Festival, England, August 2006.  I was finally seeing Bedouin Soundclash for the first time after weeks of obsessing over their 2004 Sounding A Mosaic record, but as soon as they start playing, it’s clear that something isn’t right with frontman Jay Malinowski’s voice. They are forced to admit defeat a few songs in, and cut the set short. What a bust, right? Wrong.  With his hoarse voice barely audible, Jay implores the huge assembled crowd to help him out on vocal duties, and they duly oblige as they close out the truncated set with the timeless When the Night Feels My Song, the crowd booming every word from start to finish as the band plays on.  Even after they leave the stage, the crowd chants the chorus for a few minutes as they file out of the tent into the warm summer night.  One of my favourite festival memories ever, without a doubt.

It’s crazy that I have never seen the band live again since that special night, but that is finally rectified tonight at Le Studio TD.  The show has the feel of a homecoming from start to finish; indeed, Jay was born here in the 514! Throughout the set, Jay relates various anecdotes that show the affinity they have for this place: “We have so much history in your city!” gushes Jay. Prior to Money Worries, he relates how they originally recorded the song in a studio above Patati Patata on Rue Rachel in 2003. There’s also a shout-out to Matt Collyer of The Planet Smashers and Stomp Records, who is in attendance tonight (“look for the tallest guy in the whole room!”) and recorded one of their earliest records. Jay also hilariously dedicates Jeb Rand to Matt’s wife on her birthday: “a song that has absolutely nothing to do with birthdays, but we’re gonna do it anyway!” It truly makes the show feel like a group of friends hanging out, and definitely not your average concert.

For a small show, though, the setup is much bigger than you typically see at Le Studio TD. For one thing, the band are touring with a couple of backing singers who beef up the vocals right from set opener, We Will Meet in a Hurricane. They fill in perfectly to allow for some of the various collaborations of the band’s catalog to be aired tonight, most notably replacing the entire brass section on Clock Work, and Coeur de Pirate’s section on the stirring Brutal Hearts, the latter of which sounds phenomenal in the live arena, starting off dark and moody thanks to Eon Sinclair’s wandering bass, before building to an epic crescendo.  Eon’s stellar bass work is best showcased on the old-school Gyasi Went Home, getting the whole room dancing from start to finish and rarely letting up thereafter.

As grand as the sound can get, the stripped-down moments hit just as hard.  Only Jay and Eon are left onstage for delicate numbers such as 12:59 Lullaby and the afore-mentioned Jeb Rand, the minimal acoustic guitar-bass combo and Jay’s fragile voice which allows the crowd singalongs to really power through.  Of course, the crowd sings along throughout the show, and Jay feeds off it, dropping back from his mic to let them take over on various occasions, most strikingly on St. Andrews, the anthemic Walls Fall Down, and the timeless When the Night Feels My Song.  It’s almost like being back in Leeds all over again!

Earlier in the set, Jay had observed, “there’s a certain vibration in this audience; I can feel it!”  After the show wraps up after a euphoric hour-and-three-quarters, our hearts and souls warmed on this cold winter evening, it’s safe to say we all felt it too! 


  1. We Will Meet in a Hurricane
  2. Mountain Top
  3. St. Andrews
  4. Beyond Four Walls
  5. Gyasi Went Home
  6. Clock Work
  7. Longer Days in Shorter Years
  8. Salt-Water
  9. Born Into Bad Times
  10. Brutal Hearts
  11. Shine On
  12. Walls Fall Down
  13. Walk Through Fire
  14. When the Night Feels My Song
  15. 12:59 Lullaby
  16. Something Lost + Something Found


  1. Until We Burn in the Sun (The Kids Just Want a Love Song)
  2. Money Worries (The Maytones cover)
  3. Jeb Rand
  4. Nothing to Say

The Darcys
The Darcys

Review – Simon Williams
Photos – Ryan Rumpel

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