Paul Thomas Saunders kicks off his first UK headline tour at the Hare & Hounds in Birmingham. Today, he also released his debut album ‘Beautiful Desolation’.
21 year-old local singer songwriter Daniel Gates [6/10] opened the night to a crowd standing and sitting around the edge of the room. Despite this, he gave a confident and powerful performance, introducing his songs and chatting to the audience throughout. I wasn’t surprised to later find that he is also an actor! He played a few tracks on his keyboard, then proceeded to debut a few songs on the guitar. His diverse voice complimented the keys perfectly, but he was let down by the guitar although this will develop with time and experience. He did a cover of Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’ with his own twist. The highlight of his set was ‘Tallulah’ . An interesting array of lyrics combined with powerful vocals.
Alex Moir [8/10] rocked up on stage with his guitar, now sporting an A.M. logo. A fair few of his friends and fans had made it out to the Hare tonight to see his set which upped the numbers and created a nice chilled out atmosphere. Though his recorded music is with a full band, his gigs are completely stripped back to one man and a guitar at the moment. It felt like his set was over in a second; he played some of his older folky style songs such as ‘Upside Out’, and some of his newer stuff and according to the song ‘Havana’ , Alex speaks Spanish! ‘Rockafella Sheikh’ was very well received by all and he finished with the lovely ‘No Beauty Hid’ which he first performed in the same room when he was 14! Alex is clearly a talented writer and performer, his raspy powerful voice and his ability to give life to the lyrics makes for a great show. Seeing him perform with a full band will be an experience in itself!
Known for his acoustic intimate shows with a guitar, tonight, however, Paul Thomas Saunders [8/10] is joined by his band members Max on guitar and Ali on drums, as well as Kathleen who is joining them for a few shows. It is incredible to think that this is their first headline tour with a full band. They truly went all out; Ali’s loud drumbeats kicked off the show and brought all attention to them. Paul played a couple of tracks on the keyboard then moved onto the guitar, of which he had four to pick from! In between songs, Paul gives the impression that he doesn’t quite realise how talented he is. Many had clearly come due to the album, singing along to ‘Good Women’. The songs have a perfect variety from the folky ‘Waking & Evening Prayers For Rosemary-Mai’ to the more electronic ‘Kawai Celeste’. The use of older songs featured in older EPs along with the newer tracks work well to compliment this transition. It was an experience to see the album’s songs played live, it grips you with the stage’s starry backdrop and the red mood lighting. Other highlights of the set were ‘Appointment In Samarra’, ‘Starless State Of The Moonless Barrow’ and ‘In High Heels Burn It Down’. Paul stated that ‘Wrekheads & The Female Form’ is his favourite of the album and it very much has a Sigur Ros feel. Overall, we were treated to a wide range of very talents acts tonight, what a perfect way to spend your Monday evening!
Listen to our exclusive interviews with Paul Thomas Saunders and Alex Moir below.