MONDAY night saw Folk-Quintet, Patch and the Giant, perform at Gullivers in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
As the crowd crammed into the archaic building, it was hard not to notice the original interior still patched around the aptly named ‘venue’ room.
The night kicked off with rock band ‘Sylvette’ which was somewhat reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a completely different sound to the main act that people were waiting to see later on. As the band rocked around the stage, the thing that stood out the most was the violin interludes which juxtaposed the harshness of the drums and bass which gave an almost folk undertone to their set. Despite the differing tone between the two bands, the crowd was thoroughly warmed up by Sylvette’s electric performance.
As Patch and the Giant made their way from the back of the room up to the stage, the crowd was held in anticipation whilst they set up their instruments for the gig.
Despite the somewhat depressing lyrical tones of some of Patch and the Giant’s songs, there seems to be a generally positive vibe received by the crowd which is communicated by their loud cheers and swaying in time to the music. The parts of songs which require audience participation add to the performance as well, often injecting some much needed energy into the crowd, to add to their constant swaying.
The band are happy to address everyone too, often telling jokes or stories about their past trips to Manchester telling everyone that this is the first time that “they’ve been to Manchester and it hasn’t rained”, which was met with a huge amount of laughter. It’s a style which suits their music, creating a friendly atmosphere that everyone seems to enjoy.
This is where the main problem with their live performance also lies, because despite their best efforts and their huge talent, it seemed like a struggle to get anyone overly excited about what they were doing on stage. The choice of venue seems like part of the problem as it was fairly small, not giving them the space to use if they should have their chance. It could perhaps be better suited to a pub somewhere in the country where everyone could sit down with a drink, that sort of location would add to the atmosphere, rather than detract from it like it did here.
It’s a real shame, because their take on folk music remains traditional whilst using modern influences too, it’s a fresh twist on the genre which is much needed.
— Patch & The Giant (@patchandgiant) January 27, 2017
Their covers of past tracks such as Bob Dylan’s ‘Oh Sister’ and Animals’ ‘House of The Rising Sun’ are lyrically similar to the originals, thanks to Luke’s harmonious voice, but the rest of the band introduce new sounds that complement their own ‘folk’ sound.
If you’re a fan of traditional folk music, but want a modern twist on the genre be sure to check out Patch and the Giant but maybe wait for a more traditional, rural setting to see them live.