Thursday, October 14, 2010

Villagers, live at Scala - 5 October 2010

London’s Scala boasts a colourful history as both a cinema and live venue. Now one of the capital’s most coveted locations, its vaguely steeping stalls and balconies and close standing area seem to bear down on the stage almost as intently as the spotlights above.

They fall first on Welsh songstress Cate Le Bon and her three compadres, who flit around the cramped stage, swapping locations and instruments like good friends exchanging playing cards. Cate Le Bon initially caught the eye as vocalist on Neon Neon’s debut single, ‘I Lust You’, resulting in her year-long tour with the band. Now forging her solo path, Scala sees her deliver a quaint performance, in which Cate’s syrupy but dextrous tones float and soar over her mix of rough-edged guitars and woozy organs, just about winning over a rather cooler-than-thou audience with her bursts of heady folk: warm applause sends the Welsh songwriter on her way.

The real spotlight tonight, though, is all on one man, Conor O’Brien. The face behind the misleading Villagers moniker... more