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Mostly Autumn - Live at the Grand Opera House CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

4.21 | 20 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This DVD captures Mostly Autumn at their most prestigious gig to date, selling out the Grand Opera House in their home city of York. For the occasion they also brought on stage at different times Troy Donockley (who has of course recorded with the band), a string quartet and a choir. Lots of lights, back projection films (which can also be viewed separately), and the impression is certainly given that this is a band that are ready to breakthrough to the big time. They have been likened many times to Pink Floyd, but that is unfair both to them and the Floyd. Yes, they incorporate many prog elements in their music, but there is also room for folk and by having two very different lead vocalists it means that they can move the sound around. This is a seven-piece outfit, but with strong singers and instrumentalists they come across as far more than that during the course of a gig.

Bryan Josh takes stage left and has quite a commanding presence, but when she is singing lead then it is definitely Heather Findlay who is the star, and knows it (when she is wearing her hat there is a very striking image). Songs such as "Answer The Question" show why this band is a force to be reckoned with, it is dark and brooding in the verse with riffing guitars and Bryan almost growling out the vocals, but when Heather joins in and then with Angela Goldthorpe takes over the music stays heavy (there are two electric guitars after all) but moves to a new plane. This is a song that builds and builds, with a piano somehow managing to stay on top of all of the power that is the pressure cooker just waiting to explode. Then just when it can't go any further it just gently drifts away, and the piano introduction to "Goodbye Alone" heralds yet another style.

When the band comes back for encores, there is a sense of relief, and they are going to have a good time. With Troy onstage, the three guitarists start the riff to "Smoke On The Water" and it is smiles all round. That and the next encore, "Comfortably Numb", are the only covers and the audience are left satiated, as was I. 90 minutes somehow doesn't seem long enough. I loved this band when I first heard them (what seems like) many years ago when they were signed to Cyclops, they have just kept getting better.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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