Live at The Library on Friday, 7th May 2010
With another Friday at The Library comes another selection of merry men ready to strut their stuff with their respective instruments to an always ever smartly clad twenty-somethings. Tonight in particular boasting some of the finest local lads capable of delivering an injection of perfect pop melodies and feel-good rhythms. And from the moment of the bill's conception, it was promised that not one person would leave without having forgotten the miseries of the week just past, and any stress induced by numerous conversations of "so what actually is a hung parliament?" was only a memory, as we are played into the weekend with wide eye optimism and glee.
And so with Time of Hibu first to come to the stage, the night starts as it means to continue. Despite the slightly sparse crowd, they leap into gear as if it was a full house. Through a relentless drumbeat, front man Luke wove melodic guitar riffs with all the charm of prime cuts of Fleetwood Mac, and although not exactly boundless in their range Time of Hibu proved a popular choice as the room continued to fill. As the crowd grew so did the confidence, frequently engaging with the audience, typically with a similar message of joy that their songs evoked. Yet nothing that could summarise them better than their final number that brought together a bouncing drum, a jerky bass line and Luke's quick fire lyrics. It was non-sensical, largely incomprehensible, but above all else it was overwhelmingly fun. And while a comparison to The Chips "Rubber Biscuit" maybe a backhanded compliment too far, it held that same up-beat spirit.
By the time it came to pass the baton to Robbie Redway, and his striking Band, the crowd had swollen greatly to an impressive size, with a mite more lubrication. The characteristic sound of bare acoustics found on his myspace became fleshed out and fully formed live, with an added breath of pop sensibilities ensuring the mood doesn't drop for a second. Transforming him from a British Bon Iver to being not far removed from nu-folk outfits such a Mumford and Sons. Even "the slow numbers" have a distinct positivity what could lure the crowd into a simultaneous hypnotic sway proving his power as a talented singer-songwriter. Although as a title, the singer-songwriter is considered by many as a dated accolade Robbie proves there still room to make it your own. And with new tracks such as Butterflies, taken form his upcoming E.P, he shows even more promise for the future.
One aspect you may have noticed that to this point I have failed to address, and that's; bouncy pop music is all well and good, but its not exactly the coolest thing in the world is it? Well, hold your skinnies and perfectly formed hair right there, I present to you The Phoenix Fall, a single example of how, when its this much fun, it really doesn't matter about anything else. For were there to be a quote to best summarise the performance of The Phoenix Fall it would be "I know I shouldn't... but I really enjoyed that."
Tonight forming somewhat a fond farewell before they moved onwards across the country to expand their ever-growing fan base, they showed their appreciation for all their support through a solid set of new and old numbers as well as a few exclusives. Given that each song in their arsenal has the potential to be a single, it instantly proved to be a flawless set, that was matched in performance, proving their self-assured talents to shine just as brightly live as it does on tape.
Particular highlights came in the form of new single "I believe" as well when indulging their growth in popularity to pen a self proclaimed 'world cup number,' that formed likeliness to Embraces 'World At Your Feet.' It was an absolute tour de force of the Beta male, with an anthemic sound that made the likes of the Calling, Scouting of Girls, and probably the band to soundtrack One Tree Hill, so universally appealing.
But just when you had them taped, a few tricks still remained up their sleeves, the most enjoyable departure being a cover of Kasabian's "Club Foot" that provoked a level of excitement impossible to contain as cheers roared, beer spilt, while bodies leapt around across the room.
They may never change the world or global politics but for one night they changed the world of a roomful of people for the best part of an hours set, and in an age of high speed downloads and bitmaps surely that's worth commending. And with such broad appeal, while tonight we say good bye, I suspect we'll see them again, bigger and better than ever before.