Monday, 12 July 2010

Under The Driftwood Tree - London - 17th June 2010

Opening with their trademark of mash-up covers, Under The Driftwood Tree skillfully work The Killers Mr Brightside, Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody and Stereophonics Local Boy in the Photograph into their own breezy summer model, Local Boy Mr Brightside Uses Somebody. It is a testament to their talent that this foray into their stylings on stage take three of the most recognisable tracks of the recent past and twists them into a creature of their own making. Beautiful in its own right. There can be no better way to describe the Welsh wonders than that. With a fabulous array of covers, and their own songs interwoven with banter and the odd impromptu free-styling from the gentlemen up front, Chris and Robbie, the magic and sparkle of their set is visible even in daylight.

Formed in 2009 it is amazing to see a collective who are so comfortable, at home even, in front of an audience, and indeed with each other. The fluidity of movement, and the sounds coaxed and spun from their instruments beautifully compliments the shared harmonious vocals, and all around them seem enraptured. The instruments on stage are swapped and tuned with ease as the set up seems to change from song to song. This adds a fantastic element to the set, as each member showcases their talents; Robbie and Kathryn on Accordion and Percussion, Chris on Ukulele, Guitar and Didgeridoo, Alex on lead guitar, and Sam on Bass.

With their stage presence and collective impish humour in full swing, they pull out of their repertoire a song apparently written by their neighbours, detailing their annoyance at having loud music played next door at all hours. The whimsey with which they retell this tale speaks volumes of each individuals easy going nature.

As the day moves on, and the sky gets hazy with the coming dusk, we are treated to a further mash-up cover. one which whips up energy within the sun dazzled audience and stirs some movement throughout. Weaving the pre-Kid Rock ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and Reef’s ‘Put Your Hands Up’ into another hand-made classic Pink Alabama, we are swept along into their final song, a beautiful instrumental which conjures images of country village dance and large tankards of Cider and Guinness in the sun. Perfect for the days setting! We are left wanting more, and the juggling woman, who has stood by the stage the whole set rhythmically bouncing her balls in time with the music ceases. Just another example of the level of involvement the crowd feel with the band!

There is no doubt that Under The Driftwood Tree have the talent and energy to sustain interest from the audience, to engage with and perform to the crowd and generate a great reaction. There is a great deal of certainty within me that there will be so much more to come from a this Welsh band, who have come so far and achieved such beauty in their stylings in just over a year. Carving out their own perfectly formed bohemian niche in the weathered stone that is Folk. If they continue on this path, they will be unstoppable, and this is a fact.