Band of Horses at Somerset House Summer Series
Band of Horses may not be a huge act yet, but they’re gaining visibility and recognition with every step they take. In 2010 the band released the Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms and have played major festivals without falling victim to fame. Currently on tour following the release of their fourth record, Mirage Rock, the group chose a small venue for the London show. Surprisingly, the set list is also quite unexpected.
The concert takes off with Monsters, a song from the first album Everything All The Time. The band’s musical ability is immediately vouched for, though the audience seem to be a bit at loss. It goes without saying that Band of Horses are not only great musicians, they are passionate about their job too. All the members, in spite of frequent changes in the line-up, demonstrate team spirit, joking around and delivering a performance that is not only technically remarkable but also truly heartfelt. Leader Ben Bridwell and keyboardist Ryan Monroe look particularly involved in this gig, which really is all about enjoying music. Playing every song with character as if it’s the first time and pleasing fans accepting requests, Band of Horses couldn’t care less about stylistic perfection (though they are very talented) and are far from predictable.
The show consists mainly of energetic tracks, The Great Salt Lake and Is There A Ghost being very well received by the crowd. However, it’s when the mood unwinds that the band exploits their potential and the public gives in. No One’s Gonna Love You is sung along out loud like a hymn while The Funeral amazes as usual, relying on its long-lasting reputation, but lacks some intensity. The latter is a favourite among fans but Bridwell introduces it by lowering its status, declaring it’s “another request” and hinting at the possibility that it may not have made it to the gig otherwise.
Deciding to include old or little known songs such as St. Augustine or Song 4 U, Band of Horses take a risk, and by doing so take credit both for being brave and devoted to the sacred art of Music – not only to their followers. People may have been unacquainted with the early recordings, whose repertoire the band unashamedly drew on, but they appreciated it nonetheless. A sign that Band of Horses has more than meets the eye and will not compromise regardless of their increasing notoriety.
Photos: Luna Ingrassia
For further information and future events visit Band of Horses’ website here.
Watch the video for Knock Knock here: