Devendra Banhart - London Shepherds Bush Empire

Soundgenerator | by CDE

Live show review

They say it's all about the journey, not the destination.

We could talk about the sound, the instrumentation - even the stripped down, primal ethics of the music. The reality is that all roads lead back to Devendra - the mighty-voiced, charismatic bandleader that tonight's Shepherds Bush crowd have paid to keep company with for an hour or two.

The good thing, no, the amazing thing about Banhart, is the way he's taken the classic 70's San Francisco folk rock blueprint into 2004 with such honest interpretation.

Watching tonight's set, which features Queen of Sheba - Devendra's more than capable backing band - as well as assorted musicians from the sensationally brilliant support act Coco Rosie, you are effortlessly transported back to a time where setlists, curfews and other trivialities had no place in music; musicians gathered simply to chase the dark from the shadows on a journey with no destination.

However the short time spend occupying Barhart's world must eventually come to an end, therefore so must the journey. But what an experience it was; from the opening tracks, with Banhart alone, centre stage, stirring up the ambience with hushed determination to a high of religious proportions on "At The Hop" (forthcoming single) with the lush sound of his accompanying musicians in full flight.

An amazing 10-minute, improvised jam session closes proceedings tonight, taking us beyond curfew (surely the only way to stop a train with no brakes is to build more track?) and beyond expectations. Simple divinity never felt so normal.