Live Review: Willy Mason

10 Sep

Thursday, September 8 2011

Willy Mason’s only 26 but he sounds like he’s been at this game for decades.

There’s an overwhelming authenticity and maturity to his performance that you don’t expect to come from someone so young.

He set the standard in 2005 with the stripped back ‘Oxygen’, which is played to huge cheers mid-way through his set.

“We can be richer than industry, if we realise there are things that we don’t need,” he sang.

While such sentiment may unfairly leave him open to barbed jibes of naive sentiment and political simplicity, he has a wealth of impressive material that even the most jaded critic couldn’t fail to be moved by.

His raw folk songs are part poetry and part rambling musings, all effortlessly dispatched in his whimsical southern drawl.

Compound this with wisdom-laden lyrical themes, such as knowing when and whom to fight, and you are faced with an act that’s fiercely intelligent and confident without being preaching or rabble-rousing.

Not since Josh T Pearson held court at Brighton Ballroom six months ago has one man and a guitar beguiled and enchanted a crowd like Mason did during this show.

At times, some of his confessional-style Blues numbers reveal hints of Blonde on Blonde era Dylan and a maudlin Woody Guthrie.

The genius, however, is that he doesn’t ever sound like he’s trying to ape anyone else; this is his style, and his alone.

Seriously, this fella should be huge.


One Response to “Live Review: Willy Mason”

  1. Arm Of Mimi September 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Willy Mason is special; not many artists can hold an entire audience with just themselves and a guitar. Great review. I saw him in Cardiff a few nights before he played Brighton and he was amazing, completely underated.

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