Seattle's Pickwick played their first-ever Atlanta show last night at The Earl, with the adorable Basia Bulat opening.
Basia is a great musician, playing at various times what looked like a twelve-string uke, an electric piano, a guitar, and an autoharp, all while singing with a terrific, strong voice to her own well-written songs. It was also her first Atlanta show, and she was a bit of a revelation - what little I'd seen and heard from her didn't prepare me for what a complete performer she is.
We've seen Pickwick before, at Bumbershoot 2011 in their hometown of Seattle and then MFNW in Portland that same year (same week, actually). It's been a long wait to have them come South, but touring in support of their debut album, Can't Talk Medicine, they've finally come down.
They sounded more energized than before, possibly due to the addition of a new drummer and possibly a new guitarist (I couldn't tell for sure - it's been over two years) and they put on a great show for a small but wildly enthusiastic audience.
Pickwick's sound revolves around the soulful singing of frontman Galen Disston. He was in fine form last night, bringing equal parts Stax-style R&B and old-time revival fervor to the songs. Considering the roots of the music he's singing, it's rather surprising that they haven't come South before.
Basia Bulat joined Pickwick on stage to sing the Sharon Van Etten part of their song Lady Luck.
In gratitude, Pickwick performed two covers by her apparently favorite musician, Elvis Costello, including Pump It Up for their encore. Basia came out from backstage to listen, shouting out "Thank you!" after the song.
FWIW, here's a little video-clip digest my camera prepared last night without my even knowing it, presented in all of its unedited, random, and jumpy glory. It still gives a fair idea of what last night was like