Finding musical beauty
Beautiful Change at The Espy, 13 March, 2012
Reviewed by Madeleine O’Gorman
After a hilariously bizarre sound check — whereby the violinist had no choice but to tune/check her instrument over another blaring violin track — the set commenced amid a bevvy of hippies and band-devotees. Despite Tuesday marking the end of the long weekend (and four music festivals across the state), the cheerful crowd whistled and clapped in anticipation for the leading act.
And lead the night, they did. Distant Hollow opened their set, slowly building to an explosive violin solo coupled with a cool, breezy guitar hook. Think Boy & Bear with softer melodies. The five-piece were unassuming and genuine, occasionally cackling amongst themselves between songs before letting the audience in on the joke. Like My Son I’m Dead! was the first of the foot-stompers heard throughout the set; the violin again giving the piece a dominant edge and deeper layer. Visually, the group looked great, adorning the stage with a double-bass player, keyboardist, acoustic and lead guitarist and violinist, while all contribute to vocals. Autumn Leaves progresses into a folk-psychedelic feel similar to The Toot Toot Toot’s track Oh! Maggie before the singer announces Pub Love, with ‘This next one’s a new one… actually I wrote it years ago, but it’s new now’, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Whilst all members are endearing in their youth and skill, lead singer/songwriter Linus Wilson is the spine of the group. Warm and Still had him almost kneeling in reflection while the keys and violin drove the melodic tune. He is young with older eyes, a born storyteller who welds the band together to share his wisdom. Mind you, it’s not all deep and doey. After their country song Burning, Wilson announces their last song, getting a ‘Woo’ from a jester in the crowd (and friend, most likely), to which Wilson laughs and replies ‘Fucking brutal!’. Country Love lifts the already lively (and by this stage, packed) Espy crowd with its energetic tune. Beautiful Change are among the new crop of young, exciting up-and-comers such as Bearded Gypsy Band. Definitely one to watch.