The opening act, Airling created an aura that set chests thumping from the vibrations of the speakers. With Hannah Shepherd’s intoxicatingly emotional voice, a presence of sweet innocence was projected into the audience that set an openhearted mood for the rest of the night. The following soloist Phebe Starr came on, armed with an alternative appearance of fiery red hair and black lipstick, however she livened the crowd with her pulsating beats and defying voice that captivated everyone’s attention. These two performances executed an intriguing introduction for the main act of the night.
As The Paper Kites sauntered on stage, the crowd cheered enthusiastically for the band they’d all come to see. The introductory song laid focus on band member Christina Lacy, with her angelic voice beaming into the dedicated fans that stood before her. The lead singer, Sam Bentley, harmonized with Christina throughout their set, their voices combining perfectly.
The two singers shared the spotlight as the night progressed; each presenting individuality that one could lose themselves in. The distinctive guitar strumming produced serendipity that made my eyes close and chest beam with clarity. The band acted as a gravitational pull directed towards the crowd: the closer you were to the stage, the stronger the force of adrenaline was transmitted.
The night wore on and people became more and more intent with The Paper Kites’ folk-indie style, including guitarist Dave Powys’ riffs that drew eyes staring in admiration. The crowd recognized the song ‘Woodland’ from their first EP, which could be seen through the joyous essence that was generated from the crowd with numerous bodies moving in unison to the familiarity of the song. The following track ‘Bloom’ had the crowd singing along word for word with people whistling during the bridge with the lead singer.
The final song combined a classic drum rhythm and warped guitar sound that had the audience nodding their heads and tapping their feet collectively. As a first timer at The Gov, I was in awe of the performance and atmosphere surrounding me. The kaleidoscopic background produced a liberating and lively ending to The Paper Kites’ set, with multiple whistles and ‘whoops’ from the gratifying crowd as the band exited the stage, guitars and drumsticks in hand.
Review by Georgia Lake.
Photos by Dean Johnson. You can see the full album here.