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2010/09/09 / monteurhulot

SHOW // The Clientele

A decade of critical acclaim and an especially good full-length in 2009 wasn’t enough to attract more than a small crowd willing to brave a minor drizzle to see the Clientele’s set on the second day of Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival. This was just as well for me, as the Clientele are a perfect band to see from the front row. Even hooked in to a large stage’s sound-system, they won’t blow any ear drums. The Clientele generally field comparisons to 60s pop groups like the Zombies and later 60s-looking bands, chiefly Galaxie 500. The first songs in their set were, according to Alasdair Maclean, written in 1947 and 1952, respectively. This was a bold way to make a claim to pop universality, and the rest of the show convincingly argued that the Clientele is a group that can take a such a position, encapsulating over seven decades of pop song-craft in a way which makes these styles their own without requiring bold innovation. The core of their sound is a 60s-inflected, gently psychedelic, electric guitar, with occasional touches of fragile disco, but they can be counted among the handful of groups who achieve an entirely timeless style, which they execute perfectly.

This video accurate reflects how sad they look most of the time. (Although exceedingly polite!)

t.

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