Angus and Julia Stone (Live)

Posted on December 7, 2010

Silence erupts for a second as Julia swings her free arm from around her guitar strap and grasps what should be a nearby trumpet. She releases us from tension with a giggle, and the music continues with bravery.

It dawns on me that I’ve never seen such a still audience. Breaths are either held in or taken away by the startling subtlety downstairs at The Wardrobe. Simplicity is smothering the collective concerns of our Sunday evening.

Angus is apparently suffering from some kind of flu; his elder sister is carrying him through the gig performing the majority of the songs. We would never notice anything was missing if the duo didn’t have the ability to romanticise the concept of ‘distance’ in every track they play. They make you miss people.

The audience seems as if they are about to burst into tears during ‘Santa Monica Dream’. Julia’s voice is brutally delicate, turning soap-opera shock lyrics around a variety of bold instruments. She balances her voice with a sense of heartfelt, humorous tragedy. The Ellie Goulding and Duffy similarities are replaced with passionate song writing more associated with the raw power of someone like Elton John at their most tender.

Julia bashfully introduces ‘For You’ describing a story of sending it to a lost lover – only to be sent some hip-hop beats in reply to her love song. Her complicated sense of humour is echoed through the track when the drummer drops gently into a soft hip-hop rhythm.

After Angus reveals himself from behind his cloak of beardy illness things get a little cooler as the rhythm section sidles into place for ‘Big Jet Plane’. This contrasts well against the heated intimacy of his sister, and sounds more considered in arrangement and content.

The combination of Angus and Julia Stone allows us to find fun in intelligent, heartfelt folk music. They’ve come a long way to make stunning music, and they hold our respect and admiration for the entirety of the gig.

Taken from Leeds Guide

Posted in: Reviews