The Low Anthem put on a performance last night in Belfast that immediately won the crowd over. They are the type of band that will always give a consistently good performance. They get the balance right: they play the hits and they play them well. Their timing, delivery and stage presence is second to none.
They kick started their set with To the Ghosts that Write History Books :
And when you go, where the winds are strong
When you go where flowers bend
Please take along all the best of my luck and come back unchanged
Your demons all tamed
Your flowers uncut
They have a poetic grace not only in their songs but in their own performance…as they moved around on stage changing instruments between songs and interacting as if it was second nature, which I’ve no doubt it was.
They followed with Ticket Taker taken from their big hitting album Oh My God Charlie Darwin which Ben introduced as a song about the end of civilisation and the next great flood…and a love song.
Many years have passed in this river town
I’ve sailed through many traps
I keep a stock of weapons should society collapse
I keep a stock of ammo
One of oil and one of gold
I keep a place for Mary Anne
Soon she will come home
One of the most moving highlights was when they asked to turn all the stage lights off to “sing one under the stars”. It was a beautiful moment as they sang around the microphone with their heads bowed down as if in prayer. The thousands of fairy lights twinkling above the festival crowd…magic!
The night wouldn’t have been complete without singing Charlie Darwin. You could hear the contented sounds of the crowd as they started the intro. How can anyone not like it?
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/forgsdmt9q.mp3|titles=Charlie Darwin|artists=The Low Anthem]
It was not all slow and quiet as they bounded into a rockier couple of tunes including Cigarettes Whiskey And Wild Wild Women during which they all went for it in big style!
The applause from the crowd at the end was loud and I know the band got a kick from the energy of the audience as they were still floating when I met them all at the hotel later when a post-show impromtu session broke out which steadily grew in number and culminated in Ben going for it big time, whilst Jocie perched on the sofa back next to me trying to play the fiddle that had been left by someone on the table in front…she resorted to plucking it in time to the fast moving roots tune which gradually sped into a frenzy which led to a lot of giggles from her as she struggled on. Jeff meanwhile was stood in the back, as if standing over his little flock…making sure they were all ok…what a great bunch of people!
Another top result for Open House Festival!