Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Phosphorescent drags the smoke heat of the American South with him to St. Pancras Old Church

31 January 2013, 11:22 | Written by Luke Grundy


With tendrils of incense smoke still hanging in the air from an earlier service, and lit by a pair of humble (yet staggeringly hot) spot lamps, St Pancras Old Church provided an apposite platform for Matthew Houck’s Phosphorescent last night, the man whose music itself is filled with the dusty, smoky heat of the American South.

Between the strong scent in the air, the memorial plaques on the wall bemoaning the loss of beloved husbands and former priests, and the simple piano-guitar-vocal setup of Houck and his brilliant pianist Jo, the whole set had an almost occult feel. The crowd barely shuffled their feet, preferring to stand intently and enjoy this bizarrely compelling ambience, mixed as it was with a winningly homespun vibe: at points it was like watching two of your annoyingly talented mates play in a front room.

Appropriate to the setting, the pair on stage kept things quiet, bordering on a whisper at times, and with such a strong following already established over the course of five albums (with a sixthMuchacho following in March), this incarnation of Phosphorescent mixed it up: some new, some old, some unheard before, but all superbly played and performed. New single ‘Song for Zula’ provided the high point; as they spilled out into the windy London night, no-one in the crowd felt unfulfilled, and a quiet excitement gathered at what the next record has in store.


Muchacho’s Song
A New Anhedonia
Song For Zula
Pictures Of Our Torn Up Praise
We’ll Be Here Soon
Down To Go
Storms Never Last (Waylon Jennings cover)
My Dove, My Lamb
Mrs. Juliette Low
Los Angeles

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next