AMERICAN globetrotter indie folk band, Lord Huron, brought their unique blend of airy folk and percussive world music to Manchester on Tuesday, Quays News entertainment reporter Will Whitby was down to see a band he had been waiting some years to see live…

The setting is Gorilla, one of Manchester’s premier and trendiest live music venues the band were in good company. Lord Huron released their debut, Lonesome Dreams, in 2012 to vast critical acclaim. Their second effort, Strange Trails, was released earlier this year with more of a world music percussive feel but to equal reviews.

Opening with, Love Like Ghosts, which is the opening to their second album it was clear that vocalist Ben Schneider’s voice sounds as warm and welcoming live as it does on record. Adorning the stage in simple pioneer gear and with a finally tuned quiff that only added to the sense of dreaming and adventure in their music.

Particular props has to be paid to the drummer, Mark Barry, who managed the job of not only playing the drums for the band but also all the percussive bits to attach- at one point playing the drums effectively whilst also playing a pair of maracas.

Upon playing debut title track, Lonesome Dreams, guitarist, Tom Renaud, showed off some of his talent by extending the final guitar solo of the track and added many more dreamy flicks and giving us a unique taste of a band full of talent.

After the track Schneider finally opened up to the audience stating: “We love touring over here but boy do they make it hard for you” and followed it by a “make it rain money” mime. Through interpretation I think he was discussing the rising cost that touring the UK has on both the artist and fan – tickets for tonight’s show were over £15 which might have put off any fair weather punters.

Tracks, Way Out There, Cursed and the airy Ghost On The Shore all went down swimmingly as the atmosphere grew more ethereal with every passing song. They’d certainly been worth the wait.

Moving through the set Schneider announced over the crowd: “I love Manchester. It has got a lot of character. Lots of ins and outs and nooks and crannies. Well done if you live here!” To which the varied age and background crowd greatly appreciated, a lot had returned from their debut Manchester show at Deaf Institute in 2013.

Most of the themes behind Lord Huron’s music is travelling wide open spaces and the American plain wildernesses, it’s helped along by the simple, country attire. Surprising that this band have been enjoyed so well in the concrete jungle of Manchester, far from the Michigan great lakes in which the music is based around and the band named after.

For ambient track, Meet Me At The Woods, Schneider announced that some magic will happen to which bassist Miguel Bresano started to play the Theremin. The Theremin is an instrument that uses electronic waves interrupted by hand movements to produce a strange whistling sound, it was developed in the 40s for sci-fi radio shows and is still used today to create its unique sound. The band clearly showing that the instrument is not just restricted to old episodes of Dr Who.

After a brief encore the band finished with Time to run and with Schneider’s once fine quiff (now a strandy mess on his forehead) the band showcased what Lord Huron are in their final track. Dreamy ethereal accompaniment to travellers’ tales lyrics to create a unique feel of waging over the great outback’s of America on an adventure. If Jack Kerouac’s literary hitchhiker classic, On The Road, had a soundtrack I feel this would be it.

By: Will Whitby

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