The sun was setting as I headed off to catch the Sunset Sons at the Princess Pavilions. As I arrived at the venue the sun was long gone and light rain was falling. This didn’t dampen the mood however as fans of all ages made their way into the venue. The age range of the crowd surprised me but it’s clear to see that Sunset Sons are a more family orientated group.
Support was listed as Louis Berry but on arrival I found out that Haunt The Woods had also been added to the line up. It was they who hit the Pavilions stage first and what a great choice they were. These youngsters have an amazing sound that could best be described as a mix between Ben Howard and Dave Gilmour and wowed the audience with their short set. The guitar work was what impressed me most though.
The delicate clear bursts screamed Pink Floyd in places and in Phoenix Elleschild they have one hell of a guitarist. This guitar work was amply backed up with the subtle, sometimes hauntingly beautiful vocals of frontman Jonathan Stafford. I don’t know how long these youngsters have been making music together but their full and impressive sound would suggest they should be making waves in the music business in the near future and are definitely ones to watch.
Next up was Louis Berry who I knew nothing about so I checked him out online before the gig. What I had found had suggested he had an attitude to succeed and a certain swagger to go with it. This was instantly recognisable as soon as he hit the stage and his cheeky scouse accent and smile put the crowd at ease and ready to listen. I would say soundwise he and his band sounded like a mix of the Kings Of Leon, Jet and Miles Kane but with something a little different.
His vocals had a tint of his accent and the whole thing sounded slightly raw in places but I liked it. As a bit of a newcomer, Louis is already making a name for himself and is already well on the way to the next level. His latest release 45’ sounded awesome and the Sunset Sons would have to go some to top his set. To be honest I enjoyed his music so much I would have been happy for him to play the rest of the night. His entire set was played with a smile and he’s obviously loving what he’s doing. Let’s hope he comes back soon.
Well after Louis set there was a lull in proceedings that fans used to visit the bar. The good thing for the younger members of the audience is that this made room for them to get closer to the front for a better view. As the volume of the venues music went down it signaled the imminent arrival of the band the crowd had come to see. As the Sunset Sons made their way onto the Falmouth stage they were met with cheers of approval from the packed crowd. They set about making music and the crowd stood and watched. Soundwise if you mix up Coldplay and The Script with a tinge of Oasis and you’ve got an idea.
Now I like for a frontman to move around the stage and have a big stage presence and this is what let them down for me. In Rory Williams they have a great vocalist and keyboard player but when the frontman sits behind a keyboard for most of the night it just puts me off. Sure their performance was good although the increase in volume from the previous bands hadn’t helped the sound much. A polished act that they have obviously perfected with years of touring but with an additional guitarist tucked away at the back, why not add another keyboard player and let Rory have the freedom of the stage. With all this in mind their set sounded OK and it was clear that most of the audience recognised certain songs more than others as they joined in on vocals with the band. Of course there was also a song that the fans didn’t like much and during this song the crowds streaming to the bar left a large gap in the crowd.
Having released their debut album “Very Rarely Say Die” the night before perhaps I had expected more from them but perhaps I’m being a little harsh. I would certainly see them again, if only to see if there was anything different and I also think after a few listens to their album the show would have been more enjoyable.
As they left the stage there was a surge for the door but the venues choice of dance music, Michael Jackson I think, left many people dancing rather than joining the rush. As usual with an event at the Pavilions the security wasn’t really needed and everyone had a good time.
See them on tour: