Live at The Shacklewell Arms 2019

I have long wanted to see CAVE live; 8 years, I thought my chance had gone, they haven’t toured for some time. When I chanced upon a listing for their only UK show this year I knew a Shonk roadtrip was required. Using my Arbiterial prerogative, I informed Duke of Earl about the upcoming journey and the mandatory nature of his attendance.

CAVE’s music is repetitious, the rhythm section laying down a solid, precise base for the other members to work from.

It can seem like the whole band is just repeating itself over and over, the rhythm section putting down a tight, intricate canvas for the other members to paint this musical picture.

CAVE’s music is repetitious. Then you notice that it has changed, gradually, slowly until it is seemingly the same but now somehow different, the rhythm section creating a strong, imposing strata while the other members build on this with swirling organ motifs and concise guitar cycles that burrow their way into your consciousness, creating this ever moving but seemingly standing still musical experience.



The experience is all encompassing, both Duke and I found ourselves caught up in a locked-in groove. Eyes closed, head bowed, rolling rhythmically, repetitively, in synch with the slowly evolving mantra. I was carried away, as were the whole audience, yet at the same time ensconced in my own private little world, alone with these familiar cyclic rhythms. So much so that when I opened my eyes to take in the small, densely blue/red lit room, the stage up close and the band, locked in a groove, it was overwhelming – a sensory overload.

CAVE’s music is repetitious, slowly moving you forward while staying in the same place, an evolutionary stasis. Time seems to slow down, this seemingly endless, roundabout journey could have been 2 minutes or, just as easily 2 hours, but it doesn’t matter because you are thankful to be along for the ride. Then, they effortlessly grab you back into the moment with sudden shrieks of searing guitar appearing from nowhere, a beautiful flute melody appears to dance along on top of the motorik rhythms or a skronking saxophone burst, wrenching you from your reverie to the here and now, then slowly and surely lulling you back to that place of comfort, enveloping you with another trip along their circular musical highway.

CAVE’s music is repetitious, it leaves you wanting to go back again, to travel those same lines, to experience those same moments again and again and again.

I have long wanted to see CAVE live; 8 years, it was worth the wait.

Band links:


Band Site

Band Camp

About Arbiter Titan 6 Articles
Titan is the current appointed Arbiter of The Shonk by order of The Great John Shonk. Arbiter Titan delegates glorious tasks to the fortunate staff who graciously receive such tasks as bestowed by our wonderful leader. An Arbiter's work is thankless and relentless, sourcing stage wizardary for us to witness and document, planning logistics, seeing to the audits and generally being a stickler.

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