Returning to Lincoln's Drill Hall for the fourth appearance in as many years, the venue seems to have become a regular fixture on Mostly Autumn's gigging calendar. And judging by the low turn out tonight (only a quarter full), it seems the novelty of their presence in the city has perhaps worn a little thin or, more likely, Lincoln's undeveloped music scene and its venues/promoters apathetic attitude towards advertising the handful of decent bands who do occasionally venture here strikes again. With a promised start of 8pm, the York based octet delay proceedings with a late entrance of around 8:15 although it is worth the wait. The stage lighting is discernibly minimalist, as is Heath Findlay and Bryan Josh's erstwhile fluently witty stage banter, but this evening is purely about the music. And this they deliver in abundance with an impassioned performance that alternates between the compellingly up tempo to the poignantly balladic with, of course, Josh's Gilmour-esque stylistics in his many solo breaks satisfying the Floydian fanatics in attendance. With the band still touring on the back of last year's 'Glass Shadows', tonight's set is biased in favour of songs from that album, although these are interposed with a scattering of popular Mostly Autumn tracks such as 'Evergreen' which closes the first half of proceedings, and 'Carpe Diem' which commences the second. The expected 'sing-off' between Livvy Sparnenn and Josh's guitar licks remains a popular inclusion in their set with Sparnenn's vocals, once again, defying tonal belief at the higher end of her voice and demonstrating her talents beyond merely a backing singer (check out the band she fronts, Breathing Space). This is perhaps the most emotionally charged Mostly Autumn performance I have witnessed at the Drill Hall both musically, and then as the set nears its conclusion with a series of songs dedicated to the long and recently departed. This includes the set favourite 'Heroes Never Die' dedicated, as always, to Josh's dad and first encore track, 'Tearing at the Faerytale', an affectively moving composition which I gather from his introduction was written for Howard Sparnenn, Livvy's dad who sadly passed away last year. Acknowledging the sombre tone of the show's closing numbers, it is announced that the final song will "lighten the mood" which leads the York clan into an enjoyable rendition of Genesis' 'Turn It On Again'. Exiting the stage, the eight talented musicians return to bow in front of the small, though appreciative, gathering present in the venue, and loud cheers belie the audience's modest size. A very impressive performance.
Friday 8th May 2009
Drill Hall in Lincoln, UK
Reviews & Photography by Mark Holmes
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