We were at The Globe in Cardiff to catch Stornoway from Oxford live in a gig that was much less geographically confusing that it might seem when written down (pause for laughter). It seems like an inexcusable amount of time has passed between now and then and should anyone feel the need for a grovelling apology then we would be happy to indulge you so long as you get in touch to let us know. Anyway, here’s our take on how it went.
Sivu, lesser known as James Page, nestled among the many awaiting mics of Stornoway alongside his supporting musicians before a slightly restless crowd. The majority, upon the appearance of the support stopped and listened, though in spite of this Sivu was forced to battle against the portions of the crowd who seemed unfairly disinterested in listening. Not allowing the disquiet of the crowd to put him off Sivu continued on produced a delightful set of folk that sounded so gently put together that, should a gust of wind have spun into The Globe, the whole act may have needed to be put back together again.
Sivu has a three tracks available for free download via his website, certainly worth checking out.
Stornoway introduced themselves to the sirens of The Bride, though not particularly with the kind of ninja prowess sported by Tarantino’s great female role model (here’s a link for all you non-Tarantino fans, should you exist). I should also point out that at no point, that I know of, did the band pluck an eyeball from a person’s skull nor did they cut wave after wave of ninja up – though I cannot confirm that this was not happening backstage. From this the band launched straight into their set producing an impressive range of sounds for a live gig. In fact the opening track was accompanied, not only by an incredibly indie move as front man Brian Briggs proceeded t tear up a copy of the newspaper “i” (was it an act of Gandhi-esque passive resistance? Probably not, he just most likely just enjoyed the sound) whilst what looked like a lost handyman bashed a wooden block with a hatchet before laying into said block with a saw in a move that must have been a bureaucratic nightmare for whoever filled out the health and safety report.
The band passed through a number of their newer tracks from Tales From Terra Firma as well as a few of their older Beachcomber’s Windowsill tracks too in a well balanced set, but perhaps the most eye-catching part of the gig, though ironically not ear-catching for a few audience members stuck at the back, was the short unplugged section that the band played. Unplugging in a gig is always a brave move and usually offers a similarly large payoff when done right and, for those that heard it, Stornoway did it right. The unplugged portion combined with the band’s laid back attitude and Brian’s happiness to chat to the audience produced an enjoyably intimate feel to the gig in spite of the venue’s immense heat and a few malicious shushers set within. To clear up of the “shushers,” I am referring to a number of people who decided to quieten chatty members of the crowd by loudly and quite harshly shushing them in an act that the gang from Philly would no doubt have despised (apologies for the slightly obscure and almost entirely irrelevant It’s Always Sunny in Philedelphia reference). However, it was thanks to the band’s charm, that even the most angry of shushers, nor the most obnoxious of chatters, could have spoiled the gig’s atmosphere.
Be sure to check out Stornoway’s recent release You Don’t Know Anything, which is billed as a collection of songs that just did not quite fit the mood of their album Tales From Terra Firma, but were dearly loved by the band.
Were you at the gig? Got an opinion? Fire it at us, even if it’s to the contrary, we’re adults, we can take it. In fact by witholding it you’re practically starting a cover-up, which makes you as bad as the government. Is that how you want to be known? Think about it, then agree and let us know via Facebook, Twitter (@OTBeat) or in the comments below.