Nick Mulvey – Live in Falmouth
This week I got to shoot Nick Mulvey when his brought his tour back to Cornwall. Nick played two intimate sold out shows earlier this year in, so for those who missed out the first time this was the chance to catch up. Shame that many chose to talk through much of the gig…
Opening the show was Sivu whose album was released this week to much acclaim, again a great performance and an all round nice guy to chat to.
Read the the review by Lee Trewhela here in the West Briton.
Review by Lee Trewhela
THE timeless songs of Nick Mulvey – hypnotic, sky-borne things circling between Bert Jansch and John Martyn, and Damien Rice and Ben Howard – need space to breathe.
So a roomful of chattering people isn’t the ideal scenario in which to see the Mercury Prize-nominated singer and fluid guitarist.
It’s not the first time I’ve been to a gig at the Pavilion where a huge swathe of the audience has talked throughout. Why buy a ticket? Just go to the pub.
Fortunately, the mesmerising power of his songs is strong enough to counteract the rudeness.
Starting with the brooding April (as he did at his first ever full band gigs in Truro and Falmouth earlier this year), Mulvey is a bewitching figure despite a slight unease on stage. His band are a subtle presence coursing the growing wave of songs such as Ailsa Craig and Meet Me There, which take what is essentially folk, with an ear for African guitar stylings, into epic, groovesome Can and Stone Roses territory.
The array of hang drums and other percussive delights in front of one of his band is the only hint of his past as a member of jazz collective Portico Quartet. That he’s reinvented himself as such an effective singer-songwriter in the space of just 18 months is some feat.
Despite the presence of glorious pop songs and crowd pleasers like Nitrous, Fever To The Form and Cucurucu, the limitations on a larger stage of having just one album to his name become evident as the set proceeds in somewhat samey fashion, with a cover of rapper Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home fleshing things out. But come that second album you just know – to borrow a title from Nick Drake, that other sensitive songwriter he often resembles – he’ll come back brighter later.
Support act Sivu is the subject of the current Sunday Times’ album of the week. His soaring Buckley-esque voice, accompanied by just his acoustic guitar, was let down by meandering songs, which may well work better on the studio versions.