The Paper Kites @ The Woolly Mammoth, 31st October
The Valley is full of characters this Halloween. The streets are full when I arrive at only 8:30pm and already there is a line growing outside the Woolly Mammoth. While I am in line, two members of the band walk past, nobody notices except for my friend who stops them to say a quick hello before they go and prepare for their set.
As we enter the bar is full of people, eating and chatting happily. The venue is dark and the atmosphere is good, I am grateful to be away from the horror of Halloween that is lurking just outside. We make our way up to the stage and secure a spot right in front. It is only a few minutes before Patrick James and his band make their way on stage. I had never heard of Patrick before tonight, but as soon as he begins to sing I fall in love. His songs are passionate and emotional. As his set comes to a close my friend sums up the performance as “not too many harmonies, but just enough facial hair.”
I finally take the time to look around and realise the floor had completely filled. I guessed this was a sold out event but it seems as though you couldn’t fit another person through the door. As lights flash on the stage the crowd waits excitedly. With such an incredible performance from Patrick James I have high expectations for The Paper Kites. When 11pm rolls around I can barely contain my excitement.
The entire room goes black and then brightens to show the band smiling on stage. They kick off their set with Electric Indigo and I realise how much darker and louder their new music has become. After Maker of the Time and Bleak Confusion the band explain that they will also be playing some of their older music rather than just songs from their new album, Twelvefour. I catch a glimpse of a banjo and know immediately what is coming. The harmonious introduction to Bloom starts to play and I feel as though the entire audience is as blissfully happy as I am as we sing along.
St Clarity, Neon Crimson, Revelator Eyes are next on the list, while slower songs like Neon Crimson are soothing and slow, contrasting well with Revelator Eyes that prompts the audience to dance and sing along. The set has the perfect balance between new and old music. The last song ends and nearly nobody has moved; silence fills the room for a brief moment before chants of “encore” and clapping surround me. Hope is almost lost but after a few minutes the band come back on stage grinning. “What do you want to hear?” they laugh, and a resounding chant of “Featherstone” rings out among the crowd.
It seems nobody can let go of their first album, Woodland, but I’ll admit Featherstone was the perfect way to end a not so spooky Halloween.