The British duo Ultimate Painting keeps turning out one splendid record after another — three albums in the past three years. James Hoare and Jack Cooper’s newest collection, Dusk (on Chicago label Trouble in Mind), is basically more of the same: pretty little pop gems with glittering, interlaced guitar lines and delicate vocal melodies and harmonies.
But when the band performs these songs in concert — as it did on Friday, Dec. 2, at the Hideout — it turns up the volume a few notches, grooving like the Feelies or the Velvet Underground. Hoare set down his guitar to play the Hideout’s house piano on a couple of songs, but the guitars were what this night was really about — culminating in a long, searing jam in the final song of the show, “Ten Street.”
The show started with enjoyable sets by the Chicago band Deeper (whose music reminded me a bit of 1980s or ’90s post-punk) and the New York group EZTV (whose music reminded of … well, Ultimate Painting).