QUAYS News entertainment reporter Isobel Hine went to see Patrick Watson and his band at Gorilla in Manchester last night (November 12), this is what she made of the gig…

Patrick Watson is a singer/song writer from Montreal, and the band are also under this name. The undeniably talented group are back on tour and to see them in all their glory playing live is definitely a must.

The support act, Thus Owls set a beautiful tone, performing a subtle yet beautiful set. They are three-piece band from Sweden and their enthusiasm and pleasing lyrics along with the quirky musicianship provided a bewitching atmosphere, and the audience seemed engrossed until the last song.

Then it was the moment everyone had anticipated, and the Patrick Watson band stepped humbly onto the stage. The first song, ‘Love Songs for Robots’ immediately transfixed the room with a beautifully rich accumulation of instruments. As the beautiful strings played in sync, it felt like a head rush; the music shooting through every inch of your body. Watson’s piano playing was mesmerising throughout. The next song was ‘Good Morning Mr Wolf’. The bewitching opening to the song engulfed the crowd, followed with a sudden simple guitar strumming which was incredibly effective. The stark contrast of dynamics provided an electric energy.

Another impressive addition to the set was the stage visuals – glass bowls containing light bulbs, and the lights glowed along with each song. As the night continued, the bowls were filled with smoke, and then at another point they had streams of light all around them. This set up of the stage really complimented the music and made the show hypnotic.

The atmosphere of the show was relaxed; it felt very personal. Patrick Watson chatted to the crowd as if everyone was old friends. “It’s hard not to just start speaking in a British accent when you’re here,” he joked. A member of the audience shouted “Alright Dick Van Dyke,” to which Watson replied, “You guys are the best hecklers ever.”

One song which stood out was ‘Bollywood’. Rich and beautiful harmonies combined with bright red lighting created feelings of warmth. After the song reached a climax, the song closed with effortless simplicity- piano playing and wind chimes evoking an almost haunting aura. ‘In Circles’ was the song that followed, and again the lighting was spectacular. Green and red lasers shot into the room, filling it with what looked like stars.

The bands use of instruments was diverse. The guitarist played his electric guitar with a violin bow, much like Led Zeppelin. The most impressive though was the drummer who played a beautifully bewitching tune on a saw, which amused some members of the audience.

Near to the end of the show, the band stepped off the stage for a moment. The crowd were shouting and clapping for at least two minutes, showing their appreciation for the amazing set.

The band stepped back onto the stage and played ‘Places You Will Go’ and this was definitely a crowd favourite. The band were sharing smiles among each other throughout as they played in a perfect dynamic.

Then, the whole band left the stage apart from Patrick Watson who played a piano solo to end the night. The gorgeously hypnotic atmosphere was set as the lights dimmed – the light bulbs shone subtly as if the room was lit by candles.

Overall the night was spectacular. The musically experimental band offer so much impeccable talent that they cannot be faulted. The beautiful thing about it is that it is not just about the sensational Patrick Wilson himself; the whole band contribute an equal measure of incredible ability. It is completely impossible to not be impressed by them.

By: Isobel Hine

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