Mostly Autumn

Grand Opera House, York

7 December 2005

You know, I'm perfectly happy to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a sweaty crowd in a packed club and listen to Mostly Autumn's music. But sometimes it's nice to just sit back and just let the performance and the production wash over you. And the (packed) Opera House is the perfect venue for that. Especially when the production is as elaborate as last night's. Dazzling lights, sound effects, back projections, smoke machines — all this was before the band even hit the stage!

But even as the spectacle gets bigger each year, you never lose the essential warmth that comes with a Mostly Autumn show. And that's the most important thing, really.

Oh... the music? Yes, of course the music was perfect, what did you expect? Well, almost perfect: I still dont really like Black Rain's messy, thrashy sound and I've never really warmed to Out of the Green Sky (though it does have its interesting points), but they now seem to be permanent fixtures of the set. Oh well. But the rest of the Storms Over Still Water songs just sound better each time I hear them. There was a surprisingly large amount of Storms material played, but the show was almost three hours long so goodly amounts of the "classics" were still mixed in. Things I'll never get tired of hearing (Out of the Inn, yay, flutey goodness), things that are given totally fresh arrangements (Never the Rainbow, with Olivia Sparnenn duetting on the vocal), and things that come as a complete surprise (the too-long-overlooked Hollow, absolutely beautiful, and a welcome return for the uplifting Pass the Clock).

And it's a Christmas show so that means... an encore of schmaltzy Christmas songs. Yay! First the new Mostly Autumn Christmas single, Spirits of Christmas Past which... to be honest, I'm in two minds about. It's like a Mostly Autumn song... with bells on! Next, Liam leads a strangely disturbing (you had to be there) version of Merry Xmas Everybody, (which is the best Christmas song in the world ever, despite its naffness). And finally a very chaotic Fairytale of New York which might actually have been the best song of the night (not just because it featured both flute and penny whistle solos, but, well, you know...)

Definitely the best Christmas show Ive ever seen.

I forgot to mention Silent Night. Wibble. I can't write coherent reviews on such little sleep.