It’s not that often that I’m surprised when I see a band live, but last Saturday just happened to be one of those rare occasions. Don’t get me wrong, Flyte‘s debut album, The Loved Ones, released late August via Island Records, is beautiful in both it’s composure and execution, however to properly grasp what the band are really about, seeing them live is both an essential, and a very enjoyable experience.
On stage for just over an hour, the group performed the entirety of the record, and managed to achieve the perfect balance between awkwardly (yet charmingly) conversing with the audience, and playing music. Opening with upbeat and catchy single, ‘Victoria Falls’, the crowd were immediately on side before the band threw older track ‘Closer Together’ into the mix. Despite focusing their set on more recent releases such as ‘Sliding Doors’ and ‘Echoes’, the boys also importantly made time for tracks that didn’t make the record such as ‘Harley Street’, a song for a friend back home “who’s a bit lost in the head”, and ‘We Are The Rain’, a track they decided to play on the day, simply because it was raining.
The harmonies on tracks such as ‘Orphans of the Storm’ and ‘Spirals’ were slick and smooth, and almost overwhelmingly beautiful at times. The tender tone of ‘Annie and Alistair’, a song about alcoholics anonymous, was brilliantly juxtaposed by the synth-y sharpness of ‘Little White Lies’, shortly before singer and guitarist Will Taylor organised what he later referred to as “a fake encore”.
After performing ‘Cathy Come Home’, a catchy previous single with a Twin Peaks-esque sounding bass line, the band disappeared into the small space behind the stage and humorously awaited the cheers of the crowd. After surprisingly (or not as the case may be) returning to the stage, the band closed the set by playing the first (‘Marry Me Archie’) and last (‘Faithless’) tracks of the album, before leaving for good. Although I’d arrived expecting Flyte to be just another indie-folk band, I left regarding them as not just good, but as one of my favourites.