Kaleo - The Albert Hall, Manchester 03.02.2017
Tonight's sold out show hosts a 2 band line up and an earlier than usual doors, so upon arrival I am pleasantly surprised to see the room already bustling with people and a mounting anticipation for tonights headliners. But first we are treated to the gentle tones of Mirror Fury. Though a 3 piece by design the attention falls greatly on their singer, who due to lack of available information goes unnamed. Her voice is mesmerising and is certainly the reason the band leaves a mark on me tonight. While she may nervously talk in between songs and come across as unassuming, it takes only a moment for her to command attention when she starts to sing. The bands songs are lyrically strong and full of emotion, calling upon subjects of loss and coming out to her parents. The words linger long after they're sung, which I believe is the ultimate goal of any song writer. To have just one song that resonates is a challenge, but every song pierces me and leaves me hooked. My only real criticism here falls on the lack of upbeat songs on offer tonight. There is no denying the quality of musicianship here although knowing who is to follow, the band don't pick up the beat and the mood remains somber, Ultimately though I am just a reviewer wanting to see what more the band can offer. Apart from the rude few who talk loudly throughout the set, there is no denying Mirror Fury made an impact tonight.
Next up we have the reason tonight is sold out, Kaleo. Originally hailing from Iceland but who currently reside in America, they are quite simply a delight to witness. Their Blues infused Rock n' Roll with a County twist is incredible. They came to my attention only a few weeks ago via the release of the new trailer for the Wolverine film 'Logan' which features what is fast becoming their break out song ' Way Down We Go'. The trailer is amazing but the song is what stuck with me. Research led to Kaleo, from there I downloaded their latest album 'A/B' which led to my need to see them live, so here I am. Throw in the fact I was accredited to photograph them and the night has the potential to be a great one. With all this in mind the anticipation and expectation for tonight was huge for me, despite only recently learning of the band. So did it live up to my expectations? A million times yes. Kaleo are everything their album promised. Lead singer JJ Julius Son has a voice you both admire and envy. His gravel like tones are gritty yet so smooth, the perfect contradiction. He hits notes with such ease and if it was even possible sounds better live than on the album. Musically the band come together as a tight, incredibly talented unit. Their songs are layered and the ability to genre hop is inspiring and allows for an accessibility most bands lack. Their audience tonight ranges from young to old and scanning the room I witness a sea of faces transfixed on the stage. With the whole crowd singing along to every word, it is clear I am a little late to the world of Kaleo. Now I am here though, I'm not going anywhere. Despite being sold out they are relatively unknown in the UK, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out they won't remain that way. Great things lay ahead for these guys and I am so glad I got to be a part of tonight.
Mirror Fury - https://www.facebook.com/mirrorfury/
Photos - Friswell Photography