Tonight was another glorious evening of music at Acapela Studio as Gypsyfingers brought the full band to the best chapel in Wales.
Gypsyfingers aka Luke Oldfield (Vocals, Elelectric & Acoustic Guitars) and his wife Victoria (Vocals, Piano, Acoustic Guitar & French Horn) are augmented tonight by Pat Kenneally (Drums & Keyboard), Simon Hedges (Bass) and Tali Trow (Acoustic Guitar), 6 String Bass, Upright Bass & Piano) for their first ever Welsh gig. And there can be no better venue than the acoustically brilliant Acapela Studio.
The Duo have just released their new album, Stranger Things, the follow up to 2014's Circus Life, which came like a Pandora's Box of delights are they experimented with a multitude of styles and sound to produce an eclectic , heady mix. Featuring Victoria's classical influences, Luke's folk and rock background, add in a dash of hip hop and electronica and you still won't come close to the delights that album holds.
As is regular at Acapela, tonight the band had two 45 minute sets to delve into their two albums and pluck out the jewels.
The band take to the stage and Luke & Victoria put on their horse and rabbit masks as featured on the cover artwork of Stranger Things. First two songs up are from the new album, opening with the instrumental Sophie's Dream and Half World.
As a template, the gig worked out peerfectly with enough time to showcase the band's two albums in a running order that kept the audience interested and teased. Slower songs were followed by quicker songs.
First half highlights included Eating Me, Get Yourself Out Of Town and The Island from Circus Life and Half World, The Bay and The Waves from Stranger things.
Most of the lead vocals are taken by Victoria whose delicate hushed tones are counterpointed by Luke's beautifully fluid guitar phrases throughout the whole evening. And part one went by like a shot. It was one of those gigs where you could hear a pin drop during the performances and is a feature of the Acapela audiences who come to hear the music for bands like Gypsyfinger and give them the respect they deserve which is not often the case in larger more uncontrolled venues. I have never had to ask someone to stop talking during performances in Acapela and hopefully it'll stay that way.
Set 2 kicks off with Still In It from Stranger Things and set 2 has more songs from the newer album. As Victoria switches from Piano to Acoustic Guitar to French Horn it's obvious the lady has talent to spare.
Stranger Things is a definite step forward for the band and the inclusion of the three extra musicians tonight help to bring the fuller sound of the sophomore album to life in the live context without ever compromising on the delicacy of the music and the vocals.
Part 2 has some beautiful highlights including Steel Bones from Circus Life and Hey Maria from Stranger Things.
During set 2 we are treated to performances of Still In It, You, Bruised, Lump & Quit The Game.
With the music being eclectic throughout the evening it had the effect of making the show absolutely fly by.
One thing I was really impressed with though was the fact that even with the added musicians on hand, Luke & Victoria managed to keep the arrangements simple and sympathetic to the songs. It must have been a temptation of expand the sound with he quality of musicianship available but they kept it relatively tight and focused. Not trying to recreate the album sounds and leaving the chapel to produce that fabulous sound it always manages to create for the musicians.
The nine songs of set two just flew by before the closer - the fabulous title track of Stranger Things.
However, we weren't letting the band go before at least one encore and they oblidged with a stunning version of Blue Sky with just Luke on acoustic guitar and Victoria playing French Horn. It really was the perfect ending to a perfect evening of music.
It really was a superb evening of Music and the duo are certainly well worth keeping an eye on in the future. With music hard to catagorise, which is a good thing, they have two excellent albums to build on and even though album two has just been released, I'm already looking forward to seeing where they decide to go on album 3. And that's how it should be.
Twitter - @Gypsyfingers