A heavy bass line was the startling introduction to Villagers that afternoon – a jazzy beginning that immediately made heads turn, and begin to bob with the beat. Almost instantly, you could see droves of people captured by the music drift across from sitting in the sun. I myself was one of those people.
The Villagers began the show with their song, ‘Again’, from their newest album The Art of Pretending to Swim, a slower song made upbeat with the introduction of trumpets blaring and a stronger bass.
Perhaps it is my weakness for brass instruments and jazz music but I found myself stunned by their introduction. The addition of trumpet solos and choruses changed the tone and mood of more mellow songs into hard-hitting rhythms, allowing Villagers to seamlessly transition from the soulful strumming of ‘Hot Scary Summer’ to the building beats of “Becoming A Jackal’.
Their introduction to ‘A Trick of the Light’ was similarly accompanied by the movements and colour of flashing lights, and the swaying of arms and hands. I remember the mood shifting, taking a darker, slower turn with the ‘The Waves’, a song with a more whimsical vocals that juxtaposed a distorted guitar and drums base.
Villagers finished their show with a feel good song, ‘Courage’, where the acoustics took a re-appearance and the folk-like strumming of a guitar once again took main stage. To see Villagers live was a wholly unique take, different from their studio tracks, but only in the best ways.
Words by Elissa Burns, Photos Alexia Arrizabalaga