The Postal Service: Live review

April 8, 2014, Article by Ben Willis in Live reviews, Music

In 2003, Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello of DNTEL meshed indie navel-gazing and Laptop Electronica to form The Postal Service (the name derived from the way the two chose to share their demos). Their one and only album ‘Give Up’ became a cult classic, boosted further from Iron & Wine’s glorious cover of lead single ‘Such Great Heights’ in Zach Braff’s Garden State.

Ten years later and a group of wide-eyed fanatics have come to the Brixton Academy to see Gibbard and Tamborello play ‘Give Up’ in its entirety as part of a ten-year anniversary tour.

Any worries that the two have lost their mojo were instantly quashed as a huge cheer greeted the beginning of ‘The District Sleeps Alone Tonight’. Backed by Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley and Laura Burhenn of Bright Eyes fame, Gibbard was surprisingly animated, with some decidedly dodgy drunk-Uncle-at-a-wedding dancing going on, as well as skipping over to a dormant drum kit to add some weight to Tamborello’s beats.

Having a look on exciting new social networking microblogging site ‘twitter’ after the gig, in amongst the breathless, frenzied loveins and ohmygod hashtags, there were quite a few people grumbling about the sound mix – and there was a noticeably bass-heavy sound which did rather drown out Gibbard’s soft, lilting vocals at times.

Undeterred, the band ripped through their limited material, banging out the b-sides in front of some lurid lights, and returned with a triumphant encore, finishing with ‘Brand New Colony’.

‘Everything will change,’ Gibbard crooned, the crowd needing no encouragement to yell it back at him. To the lucky lot who saw the band in London ten years ago, it probably didn’t feel like much had.


Check out the The Postal Service setlist HERE