4th July | Trinity Centre

After months of mysteriously appearing on gig adverts and festivals line-ups, A Blaze of Feather finally revealed what they’re all about at their Bristol show in the Trinity Centre.

Despite it being one of their first shows as a band, the room was packed with eager fans waiting to see how their recently released self titled album would translate in a live setting. Opening with the incredibly atmospheric ‘Winter’, it seemed almost a bit too melancholy for the vibrant hot day that we’d left behind outside.

That said, it is hard not be drawn in by the beauty and depth of Mickey Smith’s songwriting. The same familiar earnestness of Ben Howard’s music lingers, rather unsurprisingly as the band is made of familiar members. And yet, their portrayal of Smith’s music is just as raw and attentive, with songs like ‘Carousel’ and ‘More Than I’ swooning the crowd in moments.

Debut single ‘Six Years’ gave the night the uplifting surge it needed to keep people on their toes and not walking out the door as a few people were doing throughout the evening. It’s definitely more summery than the other tracks from the album and for some reason I couldn’t shift the image of a sunset drive through windy Cornwall roads from my mind; the song brings a vibrancy that just about glimmers through the otherwise sombre setlist.

Trinity Centre is an incredible space for gigs with its sonorous acoustics and powerful sound but unfortunately it’s relatively low ceilings, lack of window’s made the dense heat that hung in the air almost unbearable. So at 22.05 when the band announced that the next song would be their last song, I was struck with a strange mixture of sadness and relief.

After returning for an encore they ended the night with ‘Behold’ and ‘Grace’; such soul soothing songs and yet another reminder why A Blaze of Feather have become revered by fans so quickly. It’s the intrinsic simplicity of Smith’s instrumentation combined with melodic strings and layers of harmonies that keep the interest rather than tempos and rhythms, and his ability to paint a picture with music.

If the opportunity arose, I would definitely see A Blaze of Feather again, but on a cold winter’s night or outside in a field to be able to truly connect and engage with their music.

Check out the video for ‘Six Years’ below: