Review: Whispertown, Wildbirds and Loney at Union Chapel

I was so excited for this show, last Thursday. I like Loney, Dear but Whispertown2000 and Wildbirds & Peacedrums are two of my favourite bands ever and so it was a dream to have them on a bill together at Union Chapel. It’s funny, last time Whispertown played a headline show, back in May at the Windmill, Wildbirds came on the sound system and I got super excited and swoony. Whispertown noticed and asked who it was and I told them, and they mentioned they played a show with them before in Texas.

Skip forward four months and they are playing a show together in London.

Whispertown opened up the show. They played a nine song set: 103, Lock and Key, Restless, Old Times, Time Will Welcome Anything, Erase the Lines, Ebb and Flow, Pushing Oars and Mountain. I have two parts in particular that really kill me during a Whispertown set. Firstly, I really love the whole recurring theme of water and swimming in Whispertown’s songs, and I love the line in Pushing Oars that goes ‘and the fish are taking to me‘. Morgan’s voice is one of my favourite voices ever. So beautiful. So that line really kills me. Secondly, the ‘perspective is like a lightswitch‘ line in Mountain. That whole song kills me, but that line especially. When the band play it live the drums are particularly wonderful on that song. I love Whispertown.

Next up, Wildbirds & Peacedrums. They were incredible. MIND BLOWING. Of all the times I’ve seen them, this was the best. I hold their Social show pretty near and dear to my heart (MY HEART!) because it was special and enlightening, but performance wise, this show was paralleled by none. They were just stunning, on top form. And the acoustics of Union Chapel really worked for them. I wish I could see them play there every time they come to London.

They opened with Pony, which was interesting. They seamlessly transitioned into There Is No Light. Mariam uses two mics for that song, one distorting her voice. It’s manic and tribal and completely wonderful. From that they went into Chain of Steel, to Places, So Soft So Pink, Liar Lion to Doubt/Hope. Doubt/Hope is such a fun song. Then came the killer pairing of ridiculously good live songs. First, My Heart. Oh, My Heart. It’s so special to me. The live version has this steel drum/drum part at the end that I adore completely. This time when they played the song Mariam paused when she sang ‘so don’t… (SILENCE)… ruuuuuun!‘. The pause was enough to make me feel almost teary. This beautiful church, completely silent. And then there’s a breath, silence. It was also enough to make me actually laugh out loud right after the pause because I couldn’t believe how amazing that was and that they just did that. Then after My Heart they played Today/Tomorrow. Mariam did an acappella, completely slowed down version at the front of the stage. The whole church was so still. It was unbelievably good. She came back to the drums and joined Andreas to play the song at regular pace. It was perfect.

Wildbirds got a standing ovation. Deservedly so. They were wonderful. Loney Dear unfortunately had a really tough act to follow. They were good but Wildbirds really stole the show.

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