The frontman of cult favourites Cursive and The Good Life, Tim Kasher stopped off in Guildford on a European tour to promote his third solo album ‘No Resolution’. Armed with only an acoustic guitar and ably accompanied by Megan Siebe on cello, melodica and backing vocals, Tim had promised he was ready to ‘soft rock out’ on this run of shows and this definitely probed to be true.
After stellar supporting turns from acoustic artists Lee Martin and Spectral Nights favourite Matt McKee, Tim and Megan took to the stage to a very quit but uber-respectful crowd and opened their hour-long set with a stripped-back version of new song ‘Runts’; a song that looks at the expectation of settling down. Immediately following ‘Runts’, Tim grabbed his mic and shouted into it asking the crowd if they were ready for the rock show and how this is the ‘most upbeat song of the night’ as he and Megan then played a heartfelt rendition of ‘Adult Film’ favourite ‘A Raincloud is a Raincloud’. This is a song that finds Tim pondering: ‘What if I had married and had kids? What if I still did?’ One of the stand-out tracks from the new album, ‘An Answer for Everything’ was even more stirring in its live setting, especially with Megan’s expert cello playing. Throughout the night, the duo couldn’t have been more thankful for people coming out to see them and between songs you quickly realised how you’d love to spend a lot of time in their company.
Tim has always been famed for his distinctive vocals and during this show he would often veer from singing quite sweetly to assertively shouting away from the mic. With all the songs shrouded in sadness, this really had an emotional impact. In the mid-part of the set, he decided to play some old songs including ‘Cold Love’ (which drew a few howls and excited whooping!) and the seminal ‘You Scare Me to Death’ which finds him giving a very different take on happy relationships: ‘And when the going’s good, I’m constantly convinced that it’s a curse. With my luck, we’ll marry, have two lovely children and a ranch in the ‘burbs where we’ll be murdered.’ Following this, Megan put the cello down and brought out the melodica for renditions of ‘Strays’ – a song that opens with talk of writing a love song and evolves into a celebration of dogs joining your family – and then ‘No Secret’, which on record is almost a garage-rock song with amped-up guitars. In its more intimate form, there’s more focus on the heartbreaking lyrics.
Tim then decided it was time to get into the ‘weird Cursive stuff’ and aware people had been to see him and Megan in London the night before, they decided to play songs which are not often given an airing in this acoustic fashion – the ‘Happy Hollow’ favourite ‘Into the Fold’ and ‘Sierra’ from ‘The Ugly Organ’. Tim and Megan finished the set with ‘Truly Freaking Out’, a song that appropriately contains the line ‘I know the end is near’ over a charming, galloping sound.
The set had flown by and the duo left to a rousing reception. With such a huge back catalogue to draw from, you always felt this gig was going to have a special feel to it and that proved to be the case. Now, to go back to listening to ‘No Resolution’ on repeat and trying to hold in all the emotions while at work…