James Vincent McMorrow With Rob Bravery at Plug, Sheffield 10/02/2012

A young bearded man by the name of Rob Bravery took to the stage to a fairly packed room at Plug, with a guitarist and piano he gave a delicate and acoustic performance of his incredible debut ‘The Elusive Crux’. Despite well structured songs it is his unique and soft voice that grips you as it closely resembles Elliot Smith.  Rob Bravery’s downfall is that by playing acoustically there isn’t any upbeat moments to soften the intense set; however that is offset by his bravery to appear alone on the stage and deliver an incredible performance for a support act.

Starting with the faster paced Sparrow and the Wolf James Vincent McMorrow starts the show with a lively song which engages the now packed venue. It is when the slower more delicate offerings are performed that the gig notches up a gear, as his powerful falsetto voice captivates the audience and creates silence within it; this is particularly the case when the backing band left the stage for James Vincent McMorrow to perform We Are Ghosts and Higher Love acoustically. He was a timid character on stage, announcing that he was supposed to play a smaller venue but had been upgraded, he shyly bantered with audience members who shouted marriage proposals and love for his beard; however this shyness was not apparent when he was playing as his stage and voice presence was so large it consumed you as an audience member leaving behind goose bumps.

Spotlight: James Vincent McMorrow Acoustic

The truly magnificent James Vincent McMorrow recorded three of his album tracks acoustically for Chasing The Moon. You can hear the haunting versions of ‘This Old Dark Machine’, ‘Hear The Noise That Moves So Soft and Low’ and ‘Sparrow and the Wolf’ below. He is also hitting the UK for a tour in January.

 

Top 5 Most Underrated Artists

Here are my top five underrated artists, which deserve a little more attention:

1.Thomas Dybdahl – This man is huge in his home country of Norway, but here in England we’ve just never picked up on him despite many attempts to break through. It’s a real shame because he is a very talented young man; he manages to break your heart whilst your foot taps to an infectious beat (Dice, This Year). The song structures are well crafted as you’re never quite sure which direction his songs will go; this gives rise to an exciting listen. His lyrics are passionate and heartfelt, and sung in a very unique voice.

2.The Subways – This threesome from Hertfordshire have had ample opportunities to make it big, they have appeared on the OC and in the film RocknRolla, but yet they remain to be a cult band. As a three piece their music is raw, loud and very very catchy.
3.The Crookes – A lot of hype was behind this band when their debut was released, with fans in Richard Hawley and Noel Gallagher, yet nothing really came of them.  It’s not hard to see why they are often likened to The Smiths, but they provide a twist on this fusing their jangling guitars with a 1960’s pop. Their lyrics are very well crafted and owe a lot to the angry young men group of the 1950’s: “Take me back into that bloody haze. We’ll set those lies ablaze”.

4. Admiral Fallow – A young Scottish band (whom used to go by the name The Louis Brother Collective) are a catchy folk band. They have created layered songs with a multitude of instruments (double bass; flute); yet the album flows well and is consistent.  They deserve much more than a (dreary) Mumford and Sons comparison.
5. James Vincent McMorrow – The comparisons with Bon Iver are strong, both secluded themselves to create a rich folky album. What makes James Vincent McMorrow special is that he wears his heart on his sleeve; you can hear his voice break as he sings an emotional line. His only album to date represents the environment it was recorded, when you listen to it, the lyrics and instruments used conjure up a beached landscape, he created a truly beautiful album.