The Tuesday evening of this year’s Summer Series at Somerset House saw singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey grace the stage in beautiful (though slightly wet) surroundings. Formerly a member of the Portico Quartet, his first solo album ‘First Mind’ reached number 10 in the UK charts. We took in his spellbinding set…
Before the sun-set and the rain thickened to tropical proportions, the drenched yet jubilant crowd was treated to a thunderous performance from support act, Aurora. With a series of well-crafted songs, combining tribal style drum beats and a fuller musical landscape that lent reference to Florence And The Machine, she provided the perfect soundtrack for the occasion. In her more intimate moments she captured hints of Bjork – and the adoration of an entirely new fan-base no doubt.
After a short break to reset the picturesque stage Nick Mulvey entered with a full band comprising of a cellist, double/electric bassist, drums, percussion and keys.
His first song April set an ambient mood and demonstrated his elegant skills as a guitarist with fluent Flamenco style picking – every note struck with deliberacy and grace. It was no surprise to later find out that he mastered his craft in Havana, Cuba before being nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2008 with the Portico Quartet.
‘Curucu‘, probably his most aired song on TV and radio was met with rapturous appreciation from the bustling crowd that spanned generations and cliques – a testament to Mulvey’s mass appeal. The impressive light-show also managed to distract people from the fact that they were getting soaked!
With the audience safely nestled in the palm of his hand he rarely needed to engage them between tracks and was more inclined to let his music do the talking. There was a brief interlude to thank them for braving the elements when in reality it only added to the atmosphere and let’s face it you can’t celebrate the great British summer without a little downpour!
Despite his rich catalogue of self-crafted hits, his cover of ‘Joga’ by Bjork was a real standout and leant a different dimension with just him and cello.
He finished his set by thanking fans for supporting his first record and promised many more to come, which we of course look forward to hearing. We then promptly headed off in search of dry land and a hot beverage!