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Live Music Friday – Alex Dezen of The Damnwells, Live at Hotel Cafe

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a large collection of live shows of my favourite artists… thank god for all those tapers out there who share their wealth with those of us who can’t make it to the show! When I was living in South Africa, those tapers pretty much managed to get through the many winters when large acts simply wouldn’t visit our shores.
So I thought it was time that I shared the wealth. And that leads us to this, the inaugeral “Live Music Friday“. When time allows, Friday posts here will become a regular live music post. Now, I’m not going to lie… the likes of Ryan Adams, Howie Day and Bob Schneider will probably be popping up more than once in this series of posts. But for today, I thought we’d start with…

Alex & Angela Dezen at the Hotel Cafe, 2007

Alex and Angela Dezen
Alex Dezen of The Damnwells & Angela Dezen.

It’s official. Following Damnwells posts here and here, I’m obsessed. And I’m ok with that. The music of The Damnwells really is that rare breed, where I find that — even years after initially hearing them — my love of their music hasn’t waned in the slightest. And that’s a rare form of staying power.
There are quite a few live recordings of Alex and The Damnwells around, and some with better sound quality than this one. But this is possibly my favourite, simply because of the dynamic that Alex Dezen shares with his wife, Angela… who is not only an actress, but an amazing singer. Side note – how jealous can one guy make me? There is a real tenderness in these songs that simply hits you like a steam-train.

I stumbled across a recent video that they posted on Youtube, of them performing the song, “Like It Is”, in front of a glowing Christmas tree, where that exact tenderness is so immediately apparent…

Alex and Angela Dezen performing “Like It Is” live.

From the moment Alex opens his voice in that video, my heart absolutely breaks. And when Angela comes in? Man… I know this is an awful thing for a music blogger to write, but I simply don’t have words for it. It awakens a yearning in me that I never knew existed.

And that’s how it is with this live show. Alex Dezen, with Angela, creates beauty. If nothing else, make sure you listen to their version of “Bastard of Midnight“. If it doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then I’m not sure we have much more to talk about.

Anyway… here’s the set-list. I’ve included individual files below, and then a handy .zip of the entire show below that.

Alex and Angela Dezen Live at the Hotel Cafe, 14 October 2007

1. Dandelion
2. Chatter 1
3. Bastard of Midnight
4. Kung Fu Grip Kiss
5. Chatter 2
6. Jesus Could Be Right
7. Chatter 3
8. Chatter 4
9. Say
10. Chatter 5
11. Closer Than We Are
13. Chatter 6
14. Like It Is
15. Chatter 7
16. Golden Days

Alex Dezen Live at Hotel Cafe 14/10/07 .zip file

And now for the links… The Damnwells website can be found here, their Myspace here — and I would suggest checking out Alex’s blog there — and Angela has a website here. Linkage galore!