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Mumford & Sons – The Glee Club

Mumford & Sons – Live

The Glee Club, 29/09/09

You could tell this was going to be a cool gig by the number of checked shirts on show. In fact you could count the people not wearing a checked shirt or cardigan, or at least sporting some attempt at faux-folk facial hair, on one hand.

Selling out a gig on a Tuesday night is no mean feat but the charmers of Mumford & Sons pulled it off and turned on the gratitude from the off. They certainly know how to win over a crowd, as if their delightfully accessible brand of roll-along melodic folk wasn’t enough, it was dressed up with an endearing mix of jokes, japes and questions, as well as the right mix of platitudes.

Declaring The Glee Club as one of their favourite venues in the world and calling this gig the biggest of their lives all helped of course but it was clear that ‘The Mumfords,’ as I don’t think anyone calls them, all just ‘proper musicians’ enjoying the ride.

And they certainly know what they are doing. The instrument swapping and miniscule moustache-sporting frontman Marcus Mumford’s ability to sing and keep perfect time on a kick drum while strumming away on the guitar was a show in itself, while banjo twiddler Winston Marshall’s fingerwork was mesmerising, even if his jokes were less so.

The real wow factor comes into it when they melt into their seamless harmonies, with the heavenly chorus of Awake My Soul a perfect example, along with the haunting a cappella layers of album title track Sigh No More perfect examples.

The darker undertones of Thistle and Leaves gave the band the chance to show off their dirtier rock influences, while the instantly recognisable breakthrough hit Little Lion Man drew whoops of recognition.

Mixing heart-wrenching moments of tender emotion, with bluegrass inspired stomps and moments of pop-folk perfection, this was a rollercoaster of a live show, with the Glee’s usual seats removed to allow for maximum audience foot-stomping.

Roll Away Your Stone has all the makings of an alt-folk anthem, with the band inviting the audience for a hoe-down, along to its ramshackle rockabilly rhythm. The sweeping drama and choir-like ending of the track perfectly encapsulated what was a truly unique show from one of the most genuinely captivating acts of the year.

Words by Sean O’Muir

Pictures by Sarah Lines

The Temper Trap – Hare & Hounds

The Temper Trap – Live

Hare & Hounds, 28/9/09

It’s always pleasing to catch a band on the up and there was a feeling among the sell-out crowd that this could be the last chance to catch Aussie epic rockers The Temper Trap in a venue of this size.

In fact the number of people whipping out their mobile phones to record the obligatory shaky camera footage suggested that this could be something to show off about in years to come.

The band have enjoyed a summer of growing attention thanks in no small part to their all-conquering single Sweet Disposition filtering its way into the public consciousness.

The no-frills pub surroundings of the Hare & Hounds seemed a long way from the sheening glamour of a Sky+ advert but the four-piece looked very much at home on what was their second appearance in Kings Heath this year.

Frontman Dougy Mandagi appeared genuinely appreciative and admitted it was “nice to see a few more people” on their return to the venue, during one of his rare forays to address the audience.

His delicately raw, falsetto vocals took a few minutes to warm up but it wasn’t long before the singer and his fellow band mates disappeared into their own world of shimmering, gazing melodies.

Temper TrapThe beating simplicity of Rest immediately caught the attention while the imposing, layered chorus of Down River upped the tempo of the whole set. Single Sweet Disposition was an obvious highlight. But it was deliciously indulgent instrumental Drum Song which was one of the most captivating tracks, delivered with a spellbinding intensity, with bassist Jonathan Aherne swinging his instrument like a machine gun, while the rest of the band stomped and swayed to the ethereal, delay-soaked hooks.

It was an evening of epic sounds in an intimate environment and the crowd responded, before the Melbourne band signed off in style with the chugging, straight-down-the-line indie rock of Science of Fear.

The Temper Trap are clearly a band who believe in what they are doing and clearly love playing, traits which will always go a long way to winning over new fans, especially with the tunes to back it up.

Word by James Collins

Pictures by Katja Ogrin

The Temper Trap – Hare & Hounds

The Temper Trap – Live

Hare & Hounds, 28/9/09

It’s always pleasing to catch a band on the up and there was a feeling among the sell-out crowd that this could be the last chance to catch Aussie epic rockers The Temper Trap in a venue of this size.

In fact the number of people whipping out their mobile phones to record the obligatory shaky camera footage suggested that this could be something to show off about in years to come.

The band have enjoyed a summer of growing attention thanks in no small part to their all-conquering single Sweet Disposition filtering its way into the public consciousness.

The no-frills pub surroundings of the Hare & Hounds seemed a long way from the sheening glamour of a Sky+ advert but the four-piece looked very much at home on what was their second appearance in Kings Heath this year.

Frontman Dougy Mandagi appeared genuinely appreciative and admitted it was “nice to see a few more people” on their return to the venue, during one of his rare forays to address the audience.

His delicately raw, falsetto vocals took a few minutes to warm up but it wasn’t long before the singer and his fellow band mates disappeared into their own world of shimmering, gazing melodies.

TemperTrap_Sept09_04psdThe beating simplicity of Rest immediately caught the attention while the imposing, layered chorus of Down River upped the tempo of the whole set. Single Sweet Disposition was an obvious highlight. But it was deliciously indulgent instrumental Drum Song which was one of the most captivating tracks, delivered with a spellbinding intensity, with bassist Jonathan Aherne swinging his instrument like a machine gun, while the rest of the band stomped and swayed to the ethereal, delay-soaked hooks.

It was an evening of epic sounds in an intimate environment and the crowd responded, before the Melbourne band signed off in style with the chugging, straight-down-the-line indie rock of Science of Fear.

The Temper Trap are clearly a band who believe in what they are doing and clearly love playing, traits which will always go a long way to winning over new fans, especially with the tunes to back it up.

Word by James Collins

Pictures by Katja Ogrin

The Yeah You's – Looking Through You

The Yeah You’s

Looking Through You

(Island)

Like some kind of record company executive’s wet dream. Imagine Mika, The Feeling, The Hoosiers and The Saturdays in some kind of oiled-up play-wrestle. Twinkly pianos, ‘cool’ sweeping synths and a whole load of horrifically predictable tunes.

The Yeah You’s – Looking Through You

The Yeah You’s

Looking Through You

(Island)

Like some kind of record company executive’s wet dream. Imagine Mika, The Feeling, The Hoosiers and The Saturdays in some kind of oiled-up play-wrestle. Twinkly pianos, ‘cool’ sweeping synths and a whole load of horrifically predictable tunes.

The Boxer Rebellion – Hare & Hounds

The Boxer Rebellion – Live

Hare & Hounds, 27/09/09

Following the successful digital release of their second album Union online, The Boxer Rebellion have recently re-released it in a physical format before embarking on a UK tour to showcase the album’s sonic songcraft.

The Boxer Rebellion – Hare & Hounds

The Boxer Rebellion – Live

Hare & Hounds, 27/09/09

Following the successful digital release of their second album Union online, The Boxer Rebellion have recently re-released it in a physical format before embarking on a UK tour to showcase the album’s sonic songcraft.

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