Onto the show. It’s a minimal set with four microphones closely set together in sort of the shared one microphone bluegrass style. From the opening bars of recent album title track ‘Extralife’ it was immediately obvious we were in for a treat. It’s a semi unplugged show with banjo, cello, acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin with a bit of electric bass and guitar thrown in. Whilst they are all super talented musicians it’s when they collectively open their mouths that really knocks you back. The audience too are open mouthed in awe of the sound they we are hearing. There is no real lead singer on most tracks as they are all singing every word in the most beautiful four part close harmony. Think Beach Boys, the Byrds but in the range of say Elliot Smith.
The lighting tonight complements the soundwith its subtle changes in colour and tone to match the music perfectly. The set pull tracks from across their catalogue with some ‘nearly new’ songs thrown in to boot. Their on stage presence and interaction is charming and amusing and the ten minute introduction of the band by Auyon Mukharji as he explains the history of Thanksgiving is funny. For example, I never knew Abraham Clinton was responsible for this holiday…. sorry Lincoln. Embracing the quirks of our country they also regale us with stories about the exotic English food they have sampled including toad in the hole and aubergine.
As is seemingly the norm these days the band decant from the stage and join us in the centre of the crowd for a sweet unplugged number that is so delicate in its simplicity and only proves, you don’t need auto tune, effects pedals or the like to produce the most sublime music.
It’s all over too quickly as we are kicked out for I guess some club night but I don’t walk back to the station but float and glide on a magic carpet of musical fulfilment.
Highlights tonight start at the opening track right through to the last bar, the last strum, the last word of the last song. Gig of the week yes, gig of the year quite possibly.
Till the next time keep on harmonically rockin y’all