Every once in a while you get an artist with a critically acclaimed, award nominated album who still manages to surpass all rational expectations with their live performances.
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Nick Mulvey. The Halloween gig kicked off with support from ‘Sivu’, fresh from his 2014 debut album, who set the mood perfectly for Nick Mulvey as the venue started to slowly fill up. Everyone who walked in the doors at Rescue Rooms was instantly aware of the chilled aura created by songs such as ‘Better Man than He’ and ‘Family Tree’. The few who were there early slowly got to their feet as the set progressed until everyone in the room was stood, slowly swaying to every song.
Then it was time for the main act. Nick Mulvey and his band walked on stage in the sold out venue, along with four carved pumpkins…it was Halloween after all! Now, Nick Mulvey isn’t the type of artist to lead a sing-along, but the hushed silence throughout his set was a sign of how respected and innovative he is as a musician. It is difficult to get across how different his live performance is to his Mercury Prize nominated debut album ‘First Mind’. The album itself is one of the most laid-back you will hear all year and this still comes across in his performance, but there is an added level. Songs such as ‘Juramidam’ slowly build before resulting in a climax which, dare I say, may have even led to a mosh.
The set started off with the likes of ‘Meet Me There’ and ‘April’ which helped set the mood of what was to be an outstanding live performance. His time spent studying music in Cuba was clearly evident from the use of a large variety of instruments throughout. Along with his band, Nick Mulvey wouldn’t be out of place on a summer’s day, let alone a cold Halloween night in Nottingham.
Following the hugely successful rendition of ‘Juramidam’, his band took a bit of a breather as things got a little more intimate with songs such as ‘I Don’t Want to Go Home’ and ‘The Trellis’. Once again these solo songs displaying how talented he is as a musician when stood alone with his guitar in front of a couple hundred spectators in awe. The rest of his band then returned for popular tracks like ‘First Mind’, ‘Fever to the Form’ and ‘Cucurucu’ after which they walked off the stage to rapturous applause.
It was then time for the obligatory chanting from the crowd who wanted more. After a few minutes the applause returned as Nick Mulvey and his band walked back onto the stage and got straight back into it with a cover of ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake. This is by no means an easy song to cover, especially when looking at the completely different genres of the two artists, but the cover was exquisite (finally resulting in a sing-along). The gig ended with ‘Nitrous’, which, along with the rest of the gig, was stunning.
The biggest compliment, once the stage was clear, was perhaps the fact that every poster around Rescue Rooms was taken down by the crowd as a memento. It was clear that Nick Mulvey at Rescue Rooms on the 31st October 2014 was a gig people want to remember, and I for one, will never forget it.
By Aaron Brudney