My first time seeing The Stray Birds but already their third visit to the Arts Centre. I didn’t know the band very well but went along on the strength of couple of YouTube videos, most notably Best Medicine (“If the body is a temple, the soul is a bell and that’s why music is the best medicine I sell”), which hooked me instantly.
I sometimes find seated gigs have a more formal atmosphere at the NAC but being able to stand on the sidelines suited me and although the seated audience we appreciative and generously warm in applause it did feel a little bit polite in the first set, with no support at the early start time of just after 8pm. The second set was a lot livelier, in large part due to some loud cheering and whooping from a couple of SJ Mortimer band as well of course the fantastic music and musicianship from The Stray Birds themselves who are so accomplished yet friendly, funny and engaging between songs too. A bit of a gig of two halves, the second especially was fantastic with a much better, more relaxed and informal gig atmosphere.
A four piece who all take a turn on lead, three of them often gathering together at the same time around a single mic for some absolutely gorgeous harmonies.
You can read my fuller review on Outline.
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