Another one of my ‘video review’ attempts – so fewer words (maybe) and a few videos from the show – this time looking at the gig played by Mt. Wolf, Lloyd Yates and Bright_Lights at The Carlton in Guernsey on Friday 19th April 2013.
The show not only marked the start of Mt. Wolf’s first full tour of the British Isles, but also saw them bring their full live show to Guernsey for the first time.
The show started out with Bright_Lights who have been consistently rising through the local music scene since their re-debut at last year’s Vale Earth Fair and tonight there seemed to be a core contingent of fans who’d come along early to see them. In terms of sound this was the best I’d heard the band with all aspects of their music clearly audible even more than in the past, which added a new clarity to their songs.
While both guitarist Oliver and singer Fran did their best to engage with the crowd between songs, for me this still remains the band’s weakest element which can make their sets feel a little disjointed and tonight this wasn’t helped by the fact that, though there were some excited to see the Bright_Lights, most were still arriving at the venue and, while appreciative, weren’t really there to engage with the band.
That said, the band were extremely tight and they are clearly on a path to building quite a name for themselves.
Jersey/London folk-ish act Lloyd Yates were up next, making their return to Guernsey following a show here at the Vale Earth Fair a few years ago.
From the start they drew the crowd, previously keeping a safe distance, forward and got them dancing to their sounds which greatly reminded me of The Dave Matthews Band. What really struck me most about the band were the harmonies they employed in the vocals which is something that few bands we get the chance to see live genuinely employ and it made for a performance that, for me, was the best of the night.
Finally it was Mt. Wolf’s turn to take to the stage. Featuring two members from the island, this gig marked something of a ‘hometown’ show for the band and it was clear from the start that this was a very partisan crowd and, in their eyes, Mt. Wolf could do no wrong.
Unfortunately this didn’t really translate to me in the same way. While the band clearly have some excellent songs, their Life Size Ghosts and Hypolight EPs are both testament to that, tonight they seemed somewhat lost in technology.
While I appreciate their style of music has a certain amount of tech behind it, it seemed to overburden their performance with both Steve and Kate, along with the band’s other guitarist, seeming to be having to play two instruments at once at pretty much all times. For me, this lost the set’s musical momentum and ‘live’ nature as it was clear the band were concentrating on the tech rather than performing and connecting with those of us in the crowd who weren’t already buying in 100%.
The most successful parts of the set were when Steve was just playing his acoustic guitar and got locked in with the drums rhythms which suddenly saw the energy jump from the stage in a way it hadn’t otherwise. These moments reminded of the more stripped down sound they seemed to have at Guernsey Festival last year when I was very impressed with their performance – tonight however, it just didn’t really work for me.