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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Live & Dangerous: Mostly Autumn

Mostly Autumn The Gate Cardiff

Mostly Autumn are one of the best and (most authentically British) bands in the UK but they never seem to get the recognition they deserve. This was my first ever gig at The Gate and as most bands are only as good as the venue they play in and the people they play too Mostly Autumn were absolutely fantastic tonight mainly because of these reasons. The venue itself is a majestic setting for the bands folk influenced prog-rock, it's a big space with lots of room for the band to play (mainly because of its former life as a church) this also meant the acoustics were flawless and the sound was VERY LOUD! The band came on to the instrumental Distant Train which immediately drew in the crowd with bandleader Bryan Josh's soaring guitar solos at its forefront. This explosion of noise then moved into the opening track of the new album the haunting Unquiet Tears which starts out slow and develops into a symphonic monster. This was the first of many tracks from the new album with Drops Of The Sun, the rocky The Devil And The Orchestra and the extremely Rainbow/Deep Purple sounding King Of The Valley which featured a cracking organ solo from Iain Jennings. This brings me to the band themselves who were all on fire the drums rattled the, keys and electronics elevated every song. The guitar playing of Bryan Josh is the best it's ever been, and Olivia's vocals are so good, both majestic and understated, it’s like she has been there from the start. Like I have said the set was geared heavily towards great new album but they were mixed with classics like Passengers, the anthemic Heroes Never Die and the still emotional Evergreen which on par with Questioning Eyes are two of Olivia's best performances. It was also great to see early song The Last Climb featured in the set with a simmering solo flute spot from Anne-Marie Helder (who along with Liam Davidson are the unsung heroes of the group) before Bryan took over with another stunning guitar solo which he also did on new album set-piece Tennyson Mansion. The crowd do deserve a mention as although small they cheered as if they were double their number and when it came to the final song the awesome The Spirit Of Autumn Past the crowd were jubilantly chanting along and cheering the band. This was the best I had seen them, partly due to the band themselves but the importance of the venue cannot be understated. Fantastic 9/10

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