CQAF - The Acorn, Blind Pilot
Fresh from tours with Elbow and Fleet Foxes, The Acorn arrive in Belfast seemingly in good spirits. If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing their glorious 'Glory on Hope Mountain' LP you owe yourself to seek it out - think the musical intelligence of Midlake coupled with the ability of a natural storyteller in lead singer Rolf Klausener. This should be great.
With such anticipation, it's a nice surprise that support Blind Pilot almost steal the show. Lead singer Israel Nebeker's voice is stunning, rolling out with minimum effort, reminiscent of Irish troubadour Fionn Regan. The songs themselves are some of the richest folk tracks we've heard in years, crafted beautifully and played with effortlessly.
After opening with a sweet, whispered lullaby, The Acron delve into some of the highlights from Glory Hope Mountain, including the Afro influenced 'Flood Pt.1' and the glorious 'Crooked Legs.' Quieter songs such as 'Glory' and 'Oh Napolean' encourage us to silently bask in their beauty - it's a remarkably well observed gig apart from one drunken lady, though at least she has the sense to only heckle at the louder songs.
Their silly stage banter implores you to warm to them - they even take the random heckling from the drunk girl with good humour, even though she persists throughout the set to the point where you can see people physically squirm in their seats. References to an apparent Canadian presidential campaign from William Shatner and a supportive chant for James T. Kirk ('Phazers for Everyone!') break up an incredible set, before they leave us with the jangly brilliance of 'Darcy' from their debut record 'The Pink Ghosts'
A great performance from a band who this reviewer believes will go onto bigger and better things, with one of the most underrated albums in recent memory and a host of high profile endorsements from respected artists. The future looks bright.