We were also treated to some new songs amongst the old favourites. 'When You Touch Down From Outerspace' is a jaunty song about aliens landing in Oxfordshire. With its fun lyrics, and catchy hooks it was sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and judging from all the wooping at the end, the audience were fans.
'Farewell Appalachia!', by contrast offered a more mellow sound - Brian's haunting voice was so beautiful, and the setting of Somerset House illuminated in the darkness seemed a perfect atmosphere for the song.
|Adam casually sawing away in the background|
It was not Brian alone that made it such a magical night though. The band were joined on stage by the North Sea Radio Orchestra, who provided beautiful introductions for several of the songs along with Rahul on the violin. Jon's little jaunt on the banjo was cheerful, Oli's playing of the double bass was gentle but powerful (I once read somewhere that he played his bass 'like a melody instrument' and I completely agree with that); and Rob's steady drumming kept everything driving along. He even produced the infamous saw at one point in 'Beachcomber's Windowsill' and played it with a violin bow much to the delight of the audience. Even Adam took a break from the trumpet at one point to saw a plank of wood - a talking point, but perhaps not a particularly strong musical feature. Nonetheless, Stornoway's rich variety of instruments added depth and interest to each song, in particular 'On The Rocks' which although I have to say is one of my least favourite songs on the album, proved to be a lot more exciting live thanks to Rahul's catchy violin playing halfway through.
After some quieter, more sensitive songs, and a couple of technical hitches, the evening ended on a high with a rendition of 'Zorbing'. It's extremely difficult not to sing along and feel happy, especially when the trumpet comes in. So overall a wonderful evening, and if you haven't yet checked out Stornoway I definitely recommend that you do.
Read my interview with Rob Steadman (drummer) from Stornoway here, or visit their website:http://www.stornoway.eu/
|Rob caught mid-swish. Dare I say that he seems to be channeling a bit of Jedward?!|