Going Postal

The Postal Service

Brixton Academy

Performance date: Sunday 19 May 2013

“How many of you saw us in 2003?” lead singer Ben Gibbard asked the peppy, preppy crowd halfway through the joyous concert by the Postal Service at the O2 Brixton Academy. About six people shouted back. “That sounds about right,” he cheerfully replied, before launching into the next hit from their decade old album, “Give Up”. Ten years is an age in pop music (much of the audience would still have been playing with tip trucks back then) but the poppy electronic sounds of the Postal Service seem to me as fresh when I first heard them back then (despite the songs now appearing in commercials and soundalikes popping up.)

Perhaps because of the ten-year break in tours, the band appeared to relish every minute of performing. Gibbard in particular was bouncing around like a kid on red lemonade, and songstress Jenny Lewis broke out the drumsticks, guitar and other instruments in between providing divine vocals. Jimmy Tamborello on decks was spot on. Highlights of the show included the he says, she says duet, “Nothing Better”, the opener, “The District Sleeps Alone” and for the London audience, “Clark Gable”, which name-checks the Underground. The audience wasn’t afraid to get down and boogie, hipster-style, and sung along particularly passionately to the lines, “what does it take to get a drink in this place?” in “This Place is a Prison” (which was rather oddly dedicated to the support act, Stealing Sheep).

The new songs released on the anniversary edition of “Give Up” were well-received, but nothing could really eclipse the euphoria of hearing “Such Great Heights” live. The Postal Service took us up there, and we never really want to come down.  A perfect show, from far away and up close.

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