22 May 2018
Nick Mulvey played a wonderful set at Colston Hall on May 19.
The mildly warm summer night had Nick Mulvey complaining about the heat as he took off his sweater. Somewhere in the midst of the crowd, a group of women broke the silence. They chanted, "take it off” multiple times. Their voices were laced with cheekiness as they longed for the remains of his shirt to come off. He chuckled in response and said, “Come on guys, settle down, this is a folk gig.”
This was the vibe of the whole concert. It resembled more of a reunion of friends than anything. Mulvey had even said himself that he missed Bristol.
His entrance onto the stage was nothing short of dramatic. A light layer of smoke covered the stage. There were three symbols projected onto the backdrop, two triangles each on a side of a circle. In the background played something that sounded like chanting music. The music played and anticipation was buildng.
After what felt like an eternity, he walked nonchalantly onto the stage, grabbed his guitar and started playing. All you need is to hear his strumming and you will be struck with some sort of emotion, because how can anything that beautiful not strike a chord within you? Halfway through his first song ‘We Are Never Apart’, his drummer and pianist joined in. It’s amazing how their presence did not take away from his strumming in the slightest; instead it added another dimension.
Mulvey’s ability to tell a story in the form of songs is breathtaking. Unlike a lot of mainstream performers, a lot of his songs talk about big issues. ‘We Are Never Apart’ is about fracking, while ‘Myela’ is about the European migrant crisis. Listening to him will light a fire within you that will inspire you to be the change.
This activist spirit within not only makes him one of a kind, but also proves how humble he is. He wrote, “we felt unworthy to write poetry about this subject,” on the teaser of Myela that he posted on Facebook, further proving how down to earth he is. This was a theme that continued throughout the concert. He constantly thanked the audience for coming. One thing is for sure, his fans feel the same way too.
Once he stepped off stage, the crowd cheered and cheered. They cheered for what could have been five minutes, the whole time their intensity unweathering until he came back on stage. He finished his encore with ‘In Your Hands’, ‘Look at Miss Ohio’ (a Gillian Welsh cover) and ‘Mountain to Move’.
A day before the show, Mulvey released his latest EP, Dancing for Answers, which contains four songs. He played ‘The Doing Is Done’, giving his Bristol fans the first taste of his live performance of it. Oh boy! It’s a lovely and exciting taste of what’s to come.
Supporting Mulvey that night was TT, a.k.a Teresa Wayman, an American singer-songwriter. Her music had a grunge-like feel to it that could satisfy anyones inner antsy teen. She’s the kind of musician who will make your head sway even if you didn’t want to. The juxtaposition of her songs to Mulvey’s was very refreshing. You rarely get a supporting artist who isn’t in the same genre and this made the whole show more interesting.