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September 5, 2011 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Spotlight on – Paperghost, Craig Elliott & Timothy Armstrong at Fred’s

I had never been to Fred’s before going to see Paperghost, Craig Elliott and Timothy Armstrong, and I walked straight past it when I first arrived.

When, however, I managed to locate the large building right on the footpath with a sign saying FRED’S outside, it was instantly enamoring. The room is warm and inviting and feels like somebody’s awesome lounge, well, maybe if that somebody lived in some sort of tiny castle or church but still—it feels like a space for bands to play in and be appreciated.
Unfortunately my time-consuming inability to find where I needed to be led me to only see the last few songs of Timothy Armstrong. Those two songs, however, lead me to predict I will be attending the next Timothy Armstrong show.

Craig Elliott was up next. My first impressions were that he looked like a mixture of Robin Pecknold and Mads Mikkelsen, and sang like an Elliott Smith who had just run a kilometre or two. All of which endeared me to him, and came together with a captive audience and the ingratiating setting to give his sparse, minimalist folk room to breathe. His subtleties were subtle, and his music and performance grew with an organic ease and comfort that made it seem like Craig and his cohorts were enjoying themselves, which in turn made everyone else enjoy themselves.

Paperghost came up next, after I had a brief stint outside in an attempt to find some food (highly unsuccessful), which saw little change to the people performing. The music too maintained a low-fi, understated quality, though more effected and electronic. What was instantly noticeable was the strong vocals and a foundation on melody that permeated the set. He manipulated his sounds with a level of sophistication that the soundscape fitted perfectly with his songs and he carried them with ease. Though technical difficulties cut the set short, it was all thoroughly enjoyable.

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