Live Review: Patrick Watson

15 May

Komedia, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Patrick Watson’s third LP – the aptly titled Asleep in Your Own Back Yard – is an intimate affair that lollops along with gentle melodies, restrained orchestration and his trademark high-pitched missives.

But anyone expecting a laidback, serene show would have been left agog by this passion and pizazz-packed offering.

From the outset it was clear he and his eponymous band were in the mood to provide a memorable performance.

As the lights faded up, the Canadian began hammering away on the piano, gradually being backed by his four bandmates, and collectively showing that songs which can appear fey on record, actually pack an almighty sucker-punch when played live.

As a musical unit, they quickly showed they are as tight as George Osborne at a Make Poverty History whip-round, and they are masters at musical displays of light and shade.

Some of the songs started off wonderfully fragile, with tip-toeing piano or violin, until Watson’s voice took centre stage and the band exploded into life; It was measured, perfectly weighted and an absolute joy to watch.

Watson isn’t afraid to show that he’s having a good time too. At one point he stood on a chair in the middle of the crowd, orchestrating an astounding acapella version of Into Giants, with the audience singing along in unison.

It was so good it prompted one couple to get over-friendly, some to dance like it was New Year’s Eve and others to gawp in wonder.

Regardless of the reaction, everyone would have left knowing they had seen something pretty special.

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