Stefan Jeremiah, FilmMagic / Andy Sheppard, Redferns / Shirlaine Forrest,…
- Posted on Aug 27th 2010 3:15PM by Stephen Dowling
Andy Sheppard, Redferns
Since singer Conor J. O'Brien took to British TV screens with an extraordinary turn on BBC music show 'Later... With Jools Holland' earlier in the year, Villagers' stock has been rising enough for them to make the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize. And though their debut 'Becoming a Jackal' is a fine record, it's live they really work their magic. Today, they do not disappoint.
Starting with the haunting, plaintive 'Meaning of the Ritual,' O'Brien gives it his all, treading the fine line between fragility and steely resolve that has already made Villagers one of the year's most compelling new bands. 'Becoming a Jackal' is at turns delicate and dramatic, but it's on the swelling 'Pieces' that the band really let rip, O'Brien's voice becoming a bruised howl that would do any jackal proud. Let's hope the Mercury judges were in the audience.