Stornoway - Manchester Academy 2 - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Stornoway - Manchester Academy 2

by Miz DeShannon Rating: Release Date:

Heading to the Academy 2 on a chilly wintery Mancunian night was quite apt for my first foray into the World of Stornoway. They're a bunch of simple straightforward outdoor loving lads, along the lines of British Sea Power visually, a less 80s sounding Mystery Jets, with conservational leanings and literary minds. The latest album Beachcomber's Windowsill (May 2010) has been going down an absolute storm with the critics, and the band only signed to 4AD label in March this year, despite having been on the circuit for some time.

Embarking on an end of year tour of the UK, USA and Australia, the band of Oxford lads have a brand of what you could call folk (or could you?), with songs carefully balanced between pretty harmonies, and energetic, brass filled melodies.

Songs like the latest single I Saw You Blink (which has actually been around since 2006!) have a nice pop melody, the more commercial side of their writings. Zorbing (first single, 2009) and Unfaithful (single, 2009) remain at the upbeat side, but things like Boats And Trains dragged a little being quite slow, and even with the addition of a piano piece was a little flatter than the likes of Watching Birds, which has a nice heavy riff. There I go being a rock chick again.

Other songs included We Are The Battery, End Of The Movie, and The Cold Harbour Road with a beautiful violin intro, and Fuel Up again with a folky intro on what I think was a lute of all things!

Labelled earlier this year as Britain's most exciting nu-folk band (The Times Online), the freshly coined genre that has been circling for some years now, Stornoway have never really broken through to the mainstream as much as others such as Mumford & Sons, Noah & The Whale. But now it's a sound that's becoming more familiar and it's becoming impossible not to love the magical, mystical folk songs they make, even for the most hardened dark-rock chick.

Live, the band have great vocal clarity and are good musicians, and if you love this kind of music you'll love them. Having been hailed by some teen mags as 'cute' etc etc, they weren't too bad on the eye either. Have a look at their website as well, it's beautiful.

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