John Grant headlines second day of Other Voices at Wilton’s Music Hall
After the success of the first Other Voices night on English soil, Wilton’s Music Hall was filled to the brink of those wanting to witness what promised to be a great second evening. The Barbican-run event was already proving popular, marrying a magnificent setting with an eclectic and intimate music festival.
Kicking off the night was the renamed Dexys, formerly known as Dexy and the Midnight Runners. The iconic and controversial lead singer Kevin Rowland appeared with his band dressed like characters in a 1920s film, unlike their old aesthetic of donkey jackets and woolly hats. The band performed tracks that have a clear conceptual direction with onstage acting sequences that were suitable enough for a musical, before ending the set with their classic Geno.
Former Mercury Music Award nominee Villagers were next and blew the audience away. Frontman Conor J. O’Brien was accompanied only by his keyboardist on this occasion, but that only helped to captivate the crowd further. Singles Nothing Arrived and The Bell are lyrically complex and beautifully ethereal. Villagers are able to silence a room and transfix the audience with their simplistic inner essence.
John Grant and his band were the headliners and opened emphatically with the most recent single GMF, taken from the new album Pale Green Ghosts. The song is delightfully honest and is delivered truthfully, with such flat out sincerity that its chorus cannot be deemed as offensive, despite the language used. It Doesn’t Matter to Him is a spectacular song and continues in Grant’s ability to turn comedic one-liners into serious moments.
The American folk singer-songwriter surprised with the progressive house music of LP title track Pale Green Ghosts. The song is a step away from the soft-rock sounds that are usually associated with the troubadour. The highlight of the night was the re-introduction of O’Brien to sing Glacier as a duet. This was extremely powerful and Grant’s unmistakeable croon blended well with O’Brien’s gentle voice. Finishing with his classic I Want to Go to Marz, Grant left his mark on this event and represented the greatness that the Other Voices festival had to offer.
Photos: Richard Gilligan
For further information on Other Voices visit the festival’s website here.
Watch the video for GMF here: