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The Leisure Society & Shoreline, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton, May 9
The afternoon before this second Willkommen Collective Festival gig, I walked on the Downs to see Anish Kapoor's C-Curve. There was something in the understated charm of Shoreline that chimed with the gentle hills and the sunshine that warms but doesn’t get you hot. There were ten people on stage but, in contrast to our wired 21st century, their English, new-folk voice was content to whisper.
Shoreline’s set revisited last year’s album Time Well Spent and, with the help of honey-voiced Beatrice Sanjust Di Teulada, Tom Cowan’s band packed an emotional punch way above their volume level – particularly the lovely Shipwrecked.
But it is The Leisure Society that has made the biggest splash of all the Willkommen bands. It’s not hard to see why. Their sound was the most full-bodied of the Collective’s offerings we’ve seen so far. Hell, there were even drums and an electric guitar on stage.
But it was Nick Hemming’s songwriting, with its folk-soaked pop and smart, self-deprecating lyrics, that stood out. No wonder he’s won an Ivor Novello nomination. Tracks from new album The Sleeper seemed even more compelling live. He told us his day job was working in a warehouse. Not for much longer.
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