Stefan Jeremiah, FilmMagic / Andy Sheppard, Redferns / Shirlaine Forrest,…
- Posted on Aug 5th 2010 6:00AM by Emily Kendrick
Claire Greenway, Getty Images
With this new venue sitting directly under the rails of one of the UK's busiest stations, the show began with the overhead clatter of tracks for 'Twenty-Seven Strangers,' as frontman Conor O'Brien played accompanied by just his acoustic, before being joined onstage by his four-piece band.
In a similarly stripped-back format, the highlight of the set was undoubtedly new track 'In The New Found Land You Are Free;' a song he quipped was "heavy stuff." However, O'Brien confessed that he had written the track just the night before in his hotel room. This was a weighty and emotional performance and formed the first in the group's encore.
The remainder of the set was characterised by humour, as firstly a mobile phone interrupted the progress of 'To be Counted Among Men' with O'Brien forgetting the words, prompting them to start from the top. This was a problem he put down to being on "American time" (as well as the mobile) --having only just returned from playing six dates in Canada and the US -- and "not dealing so well with jetlag."
The band also played a number of tracks from their Mercury Prize-nominated debut LP 'Becoming A Jackal', including 'Pieces',' 'Ship of Promises' and 'Set the Tigers Free.'As the first of two nights headlining this unique space, Villagers are set to repeat the deed in the Tunnels again on Thursday night, hopefully this time minus the interruptions and after a good night's sleep.