[Back to Index page] Index

Breathing Space

The Studio, Hartlepool

20 June 2008

Gina Dootson pulled out of the support slot at the last minute, which was a bit disappointing (for me), but Breathing Space played two long sets (at least two hours 20 minutes, with only a short break in the middle), so I wasn't really complaining. Opening with Coming Up for Air and closing with You Still Linger, the set included all (I think) of the second album and several songs from the first, plus three Mostly Autumn songs.

The whole show was flawless, and I think the best I've ever heard the band play. Certainly it was the most technically perfect show I've seen them do — the sound in the venue was perfect, just loud enough to drown out the noise from the bar, not loud enough to distort, and every instrument balanced with perfect clarity.

Set highlights... well, it occurred to me that I don't really have a favourite Breathing Space song, I loved everything they played and I'm still humming them all now. But if there has to be a highlight, it's You Still Linger, which is an epic showcase for the entire band and Mark Rowan's finest moment in particular. Mark gets "man of the gig" award, playing superbly throughout, but all seven band members sounded in top form all night.

It looked like there might not be an encore, but they managed to squeeze in one more song — The Gap is Too Wide. And The Gap is the only song that wouldn't have seemed like an anticlimax after the magnificent You Still Linger (did I mention how epic that was?). If you're a Mostly Autumn fan who hasn't yet seen Breathing Space, you wouldn't believe how well The Gap works when played by "only" a seven-piece band. Every Mostly Autumn fan owes it to themselves to go and see Breathing Space if only for this!

Writing this review on Saturday morning, I'm wishing I could be in Howden tonight. And... yes, I think that was the best concert I've ever seen.