Arriving at the Wulfrun I was immediately surprised that the average age of the audience was probably in the late thirties/early forties, and to be honest, for a while I thought I was in the wrong place. I had an hour to mull this over before Royworld appeared and dispelled my doubts.
Hailing from London, four-piece indie outfit Royworld entertain the gathering with their mainstream, laid-back, indie-pop-rock and are currently touring to promote their debut album release in June, Man In The Machine. In the midst of the set is their recently released single ‘Dust’, a lazily-anthemic ballad that has seen airplay on the likes of Radio 1. All in all I didn’t think it was a bad performance but, to use a musical analogy, their set didn’t seem to get past the verse and pre-chorus — they never seemed to get where they were going and nothing stood out or grabbed my attention.
Royworld were the only support tonight so it’s not too long before the Guillemots arrive. The intro to opener ‘Made up love song #43’ saw Fyfe Dangerfield singing alone under the spotlight and clutching a small keyboard to his chest before the rest of the band stepped in to flesh out the sound.
Guillemots‘ live performances have always been noted for their variation and dynamism and the band members come across as veteran performers, completely at home on stage. This is apparent in the way they can create an atmosphere with one song and then immediately uproot it and replace it with the next. From the exotic and powerfully driving ‘Kriss Kross’, to the offhand and upbeat ‘Trains To Brazil’, every song has its place.
The stand out song of the evening has to be an acoustic rendition of ‘We’re Here’ though. With Fyfe alone again on stage, the audience stood so intently that the only other audible sound was of the floorboards creaking gently. You could have heard a plastic cup drop, however I think this would have been met by a thousand menacing glares.
I think the Guillemots rarely fail to astonish a crowd, and I also think this is due to the way Fyfe, in particular, manages to bring out a humble confidence in every song. However, this is by no means a one-man band. MC Lord Magrao, Aristazabal Hawkes and Greig Stewart are all as talented and experimental as their names may suggest and, refreshingly, they make up one of the few bands around whose priorities lie in music, rather than fame.
Review – Ash Carter
Photos – Bianca Barrett