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Last weekend I impulsively purchased a ticket to see Nick Mulvey at Electric Circus in Edinburgh. Partly because I had happened to stumble across a few of his tunes several months ago (he's got an EP and a couple of singles out at the moment) and Electric Circus is just a stone's throw from my front door. So off I went on Wednesday night and truly... a fantastic evening of music.
I always show up really early to venues. I don't know why that is -- if it's anxiety that I won't get a good spot or what, but I showed up at doors open, grabbed a drink from an insanely friendly bartender with wild hair, and planted myself on a leather couch in the back of the small venue, directly across from the stage, where I spent the next three hours in folksy singer-songwritery bliss.
Electric Circus is a nightclub some nights, a music venue, a karaoke bar, you name it... it kind of does it all. But it boasts a really wonderful, intimate setting for shows and the staff are great. I sat in the way back, naughtily leaning against an illuminated wall, sitting on the back of a couch (my grandmother would kill me if she knew my shoes were on the seat), but able to see quite well from there. I didn't bother taking photos (I don't understand photos at concerts, though I've done it in the past... I've become less and less keen) but it's really about the music, isn't it?
The opener was a young folk singer who called himself Eaves, hailing from Leeds. This kid could sing. He did a short, mellow set which set the tone for nicely for Nick Mulvey's folky, slightly more fast-paced, upbeat sound.
The house was packed and a number of people I talked to had only just heard of him because his newest single, 'Cucuracu' was just released on March 3rd and is getting some radio play. His first full-length album, First Mind, is due to drop in May. He was formerly a part of the group Portico Quartet, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize for their album Knee Deep in the North Sea. And to connect things further, Portico Quartet apparently influenced one of my favorite bands of the last couple of years, Alt-J.
Anyway, Mulvey parted ways with Portico Quartet a little while ago and busted out his solo chops, which after seeing this show, I think are going to take him places. Great songwriting, serious guitar-strumming skills and gentle yet assertive vocals with an endearing take-nothing-for-granted charm made for a really enjoyable, thoroughly absorptive performance. I think it's always fun to see someone at the sort of magical point in their career when they've amassed a following and some serious female admirers, yet they meet you out at the merch booth for pictures, autographs and chat.
I would see him again absolutely, and he intimated he might be back for the summer festivals here in Edi. No US tour dates as yet, but I imagine it's only a matter of time. ;)
Seen any good shows lately? Let me know!