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Concert Review: Mostly Autumn

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I can’t think of any other time I’ve been to a gig and found myself unable to listen to the music of any other band for several days afterwards. But since Wednesday night’s performance in Manchester by Mostly Autumn, nothing other than “The Last Bright Light” and “Passengers” has been anywhere near my CD player.

For the uninitiated, Mostly Autumn hail from York (That’s old York, not the new one), and their sound mixes progressive rock and folk elements to produce a rich multi-layered sound. The show a strong influence from Pink Floyd and very early Genesis, with occasional moments of heavier bands such as Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. But the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. And live, they create a very special atmosphere.

The band have two lead vocalists; the ethereal voice of Heather Findlay contrasts with the gruffer style of Bryan Josh, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn. Josh also plays some superb lead guitar, reminiscent of Richie Blackmore. MA have toured extensively with Blackmore’s Night, and some the Man In Black’s magic must have worn off.

In a small club it’s hard to fit all seven of the band on stage, especially with Iain Jennings’ 70s-style mountain of keyboards filling the right hand side. This resulted in second guitarist Liam Davidson and flautist/backing vocalist Angela Goldthorpe being half-hidden at the back of the stage.

The set drew heavily from the both the harder-edged “Passengers” and it’s mellower and atmospheric predecessor “The Last Bright Light”. Some of the songs from the latter were among the high point of the set, especially the haunting ballad “Half The Mountain”, dedicated to the recently split Karnataka, and the epic final encore, “Mother Nature”.

Mostly Autumn deserve to be far bigger than they are; not playing a currently fashionable style of music means the mainsteam music press completely ignores them. They’re doing a short British tour of larger venues in late November/early December; go and see them, you won’t be disappointed.

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About Tim Hall

  • rod

    iheard the band for the first time on a dvd called classic rocck anthology song was never the rainbow all i can say is i was blown away.will you guys please please tour australia and include perth western australia where iam from. love your music.

  • If anyone’s interested, Mostly Autumn will be visiting the US next April, headlining the Rites of Spring Festival.