Live Review: Nick Mulvey @ The 02 Academy

Since Laura Marling it’s been hard to appreciate any folk singers who have emerged in the mainstream and I’ve found myself listening over and over again to the sweet bird songs of folk singers from the 60s and 70s instead, but recently one of Nick Mulvey’s songs made itself at home in my head and had me thinking that this guy might have something good going on. Sure enough having listened to his New Album ‘Wake up Now’ it became apparent that his sound stretches beyond the simple hazy fresh cut grass scented sounds of other modern folk. It’s panoramic, and applicable to situations beyond slow Sunday mornings and lazy afternoons in the sun so we decided to check out his Show at the 02 Academy last Tuesday.

If I’m honest, to begin with I felt like I should be tucked up in bed listening to his lullabies rather than crushed amongst other bodies on a staircase. But by the time Mulvey and his band members, (which included two icing sugar voiced girls in smocks, a drummer and Ricardo the man on production) had lit some candles in the atmosphere, I felt there was no better place to be. They transformed the space with their sound and managed to make the cavernous room feel less like a gig hall and more like somewhere in the early hours of the morning scented with woodsmoke and leftover wine.

His howls about a love stretch beyond romance, to all corners of humanity with songs about individuals who have suffered through the refugee crisis such as Myela, a character who appears in more than one song, and Imogen, written during the time that the hurricane hit. His outlook and attitude are what draw a ring around him amongst others and it’s heartwarming to see him use his platform to spread his passion for current global crises.

His humble nature meant that there was no noticeable disconnect between performer and audience and it felt at times like he was playing to a group of old friends who knew him and his heart well. There were just enough slow and thought out explanations of how the music came into being before and after each song for us to catch an insight into the journey that brought him to his new material which made each song reverberate beyond the room we were in.  My highlight was probably ‘fever to the form’ which he saved up until the end and which sent a shared shiver through the spine of the crowd as he wished us all goodnight. His music is moving and soothing and his live performance is no less, I recommend this man and his gold-tipped vocal chords to anyone.

Isla Greenwood