When: Sat., Oct. 13 2012
SPOTTISWOODE & HIS ENEMIES Cross the mordant wit of Kevin Ayers with the neurotic music hall of Preservation-era Kinks, and it still wouldn’t be as divinely and organically weird as Jonathan Spottiswoode & His Enemies. Singing in a gravelly baritone pitched midway between Leonard Cohen and the Psychedelic Furs’ Richard Butler, Spottiswoode careens from cabaret rock and jazz-on-crack to askew but heartfelt ballads. His inspired and professional Enemies follow his every move, delivering everything from the dark carnival Nick Cave-style theatrics of “That’s What I Like” to the soaring, anthemic pop of “Beautiful Monday.” Even Spottiswoode’s sunniest songs eddy with whorls of darkness, but the wordplay is witty and the sarcasm is tempered with sincerity. Like fellow British eccentrics Robyn Hitchcock and The Jazz Butcher’s Pat Fish, Spottiswoode seems to mean every word he sings. The combination of emotional honesty and off-kilter vision that blocks Spottiswoode’s access to the mainstream also makes him catnip for cult aficionados. Laced with an air of goofy menace, this astringent cocktail is melodic, inventive, funny, scary and utterly brilliant.