I’m From Barcelona w/ Emily and the Woods & Dancehalls at Concorde: 22 September
September 26, 2011, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Gig Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,


Brighton’s Dancehalls were the first support band for the I’m from Barcelona gig at Concorde on Thursday night.  The all-singing four-piece thanked the few who had got there early and it was certainly worth it.  Stylishly dressed, the folk indie ensemble used an array of instruments to create a stirring set that had an element of funked up church music with an organ keyboard sound.

‘Thousand Ships’ included a moving four-part vocal harmony that reminded me of the first time I heard Mumford and Sons’ album ‘Sigh No More.’  With a classical touch of violin, it was stirring when the girl and three boys sang together.

The male/female vocal used the balanced vocal trend that bands such as Big Deal are rocking.  Their songs drifted smoothly into one another. They finished with ‘Fortune of War’ which they described as a “seaside song.”  It had a pirate-esque feel that even got the bouncer dancing.

Emily, Emily and the Woods

Next up, Emily and the Woods started with lead singer Emily singing a cappella with her effortlessly stunning voice reminiscent of Adele.  In a quieter, more acoustic set she was joined by her band which included her brother on guitar and her dad on bass – what a talented family.

A notable song was ‘Castles’ which featured a superb guitar solo by Emily’s brother.  ‘Go home’ sounded a bit like Florence’s version of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ which in my book is never a bad thing.  Towards the end, there were a few people dancing.

The crowd surged forward as indie pop band I’m from Barcelona made an entrance like the start of a musical.  The superbly dressed 12-piece (there are usually 29 of them) were a delight for the eyes as well as the ears, as they were animated throughout.

The stage set-up was this: three stubbly suited ’n booted brass players/vocalists to the left, with synthesisers and a guitarist to the back of the stage.  The wacky moustached lead singer was centre stage charming the audience with his quaint accent.  A rockin’ drummer was back centre with two mirrored men of keys to the right of drums.  Three sparkling singers lead the dance routines and clapping rhythms to the front right.  The combo of instruments gave a rich layering of sound and it was impossible not to dance.

I'm From Barcelona

Singing tunes you’ll find yourself humming on the way home, highlights included ‘This boy’ which was 100% sing-along as they passed the mic into the audience, breaking it down to beat-boxing and a brilliant trumpet solo before bringing it back it up to a jump up and down tune.

‘Jenny’ was another feel-good favourite and ‘Paper Planes brought a whole new dimension as the band threw paper planes into the audience.  Next, there were giant balloons and it was evident that this band was an advocate of channelling your inner child.

No one can resist bopping a giant balloon, not even that bouncer. 

The band maintained their energy throughout the gig and came back on for an encore much to the joy of the crowd.  It was an unforgettable show.


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