I kept hearing this guy’s moniker, and seeing his odd twitter username (@SivuSignals), so I checked him out on Spotify (natch) and then thought ‘Yeah, ok, I’ll go see him’. Turned out to be a wise choice.
Date: March 14, 2015
Whilst Royal Blood and Usher pull in the Notts folk at Rock City and the arena respectively, here at the Bodega is an artist a lot less monolithic but no less entertaining.
Sivu, the Finnish moniker chosen by humble James Page of humble St Ives, Cambridge, is short on numbers crowd wise but big on melancholic folktronica that nestles comfortably somewhere between the orchestral pop weirdness of Wild Beasts and unpigeonholeable indie-folk chin strokers Alt-J.
“Hi Nottingham, I’m Sivu, and this is Lucy”, he announces, referring to his keyboardist as the pair assemble for opener Sleep, a song that sees an aching guitar resemble Blur’s ode to heartache, No Distance Left to Run.
It sets the tone for the gig, rich with a grumbling soul, brimming with minimalism.
He’s a sensitive soul. A worrier perhaps. “You know when your mum threw birthday parties for you as a kid, and you worried that no one would turn up? That is how this tour feels. To have more than two people here is ace”, he announces, his heart firmly on his sleeve.
While he and his cohort share instruments, it’s the same output – sparse alt-folk full of pathos.
It gets a bit weird on Can’t Stop Now, as a drunk guy attempts to translate its lyrics via sign language. It’s a poor attempt, and his mate must’ve really hated it as he punched him three times before the pair of them left, although not before the drunk one insulted a lady by calling her a prostitute on the way out. Always one.
Back on stage, and it’s the singles Bodies and Better Man Than He that posit Sivu alongside Wild Beasts so perfectly, displaying an eerie, moody ambience.
Sivu. Great Finnish, son.