Thursday, September 29, 2016

Live Review :: Meadowlark :: The Waiting Room, London - Sept 27 2016

Live Review

Meadowlark + AUGUST

The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, London

September 27 2016

Words/Photos: Jess Sharrock

Meadowlark, aka Bristol duo Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley, are no strangers to London stages and on this Tuesday evening they took once again to one of the capital's stages, The Waiting Room in North London's Stokey, as part of their UK headline tour.

The night began with support from London-based, indie-pop artist August. Unfortunately for us, Steve 'AUGUST' Hughes played only a relatively short five songs in this solo outing - but that did include new single 'Animal', and his previous (- 55k Soundcloud streamed) 'Sword', his debut offering from earlier in the year. An incredibly talented artist, if you haven’t already, check him out; he’s an absolute dream!

For the past few years, Meadowlark have been hovering around the indie-folk-pop scene, initially as a trio, but following the departure of Carl Jones in 2013, Kate and Dan decided to carry on alone. With the former's soft, crystalline vocals and engaging melodies and Dan’s clear love for experimental beats and electronic vibe, they seem to fit perfectly together as the proverbial dream team; and although Kate sings the majority of the songs, Dan’s harmonies complement each song and add a whole new dimension.

Live, Meadowlark can often be as captivating as their name, though tonight while clearly both are very talented, it felt maybe something was a lacking. I love the buzz and excitement of a (relatively) new, unknown band at a small show, but for me something seemed to be missing. Defining what that 'something' was, however, is hard to put one's finger on.

They opened their set with new single 'Headlights', a perhaps more poppier vibe - with an R&B slant -than they usually proffer (although without betraying their folk roots), but which brought forth appreciatice recognition from the crowd. The atmospheric 'Paraffin', the title track from their second ambient EP, 'Eyes Wide' and 'Quicksand', both convey emotional integrity, lyrically and musically. The set concluded with an acoustic version of 'Fly', with plenty of audience participation, and although the crowd were clearly hoping for an encore at its finish, it wasn't on the cards for this set.

Meadowlark then flew off into the night, as we, punters did likewise. Though for this night 'bird' travelling home was spent reflecting on what it was that felt lacking tonight? Maybe it was just simply the fact of not hearing a favourite song or two played live on this occasion. But with a growing repertoire of songs at their disposal, and an album on course for next year, it may sadly become a necessary factor.

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