Live Review: The Paper Kites @ Dingwalls, Camden (19/2/19)

I have to throw this out there from the start, The Paper Kites are a band that I had absolutely no knowledge about before going to this show. I always like to try new music so when my girlfriend asked me whether I wanted to along with her I of course said yes.

Having not played London since October 2016, there was no surprise that this show sold out quickly and the crowd turned up early to get the best position they could for the highly anticipated Australian folk-rock group.

Playing a set full of slow mellow folk style songs can be difficult, and if you don’t manage to create an emotional atmosphere during a live performance, you can lose the crowd quickly, but The Paper Kites had every single member of the audience’s attention throughout the whole set and even thanked the crowd for listening midway through.

They also had designed a setlist that meant they could play around with the delivery of each song perfectly. During one song they went down to 2 members, and then for the next they crowded around one microphone and played an acoustic song full of beautiful harmonies. They also did this during their encore when they did a cover of the Francis McPeake song ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’. These were the two standout songs for me during the setlist as the atmosphere and emotion that were created by the band were truly captivating. Low tempo music is definitely more of a listening experience, and for one of their songs, The Paper Kites wanted to use this to their advantage. Asking the lighting engineer to turn every possible light out, trying to lose any visual stimulus for the audience and get them to focus solely on what they could here. I am very much used to atmospheres created from a bands lively and energetic stage presence so this was new for me. But again the band absolutely nailed the song and the room seemed to be taken over by the song. Every single person, even bar staff and security were dead silent and as atmospheres go, this was definitely up there for me with the lively and energetic bands. This may have been the first time I have seen The Paper Kites but after this show, I will definitely be going back!

The Paper Kites are back in London in December, when they play the Islington Assembly Hall and I am looking forward to seeing them again, this time knowing a little bit more about them.

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