Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit

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Mai 24 2008, 12h01

Wed 14 May – Johnny Flynn

As usual I'm writing this because I'm about to go to another gig and I want to get this down before I forget it entirely...

Gig was at the ICA, which is right on the Mall in the middle of London. This makes going to it an enjoyable experience for me as I've only been in london 9 months, and I still get a kick out of wandering through Trafalgar square not as a tourist but because I actually have to walk through it to get where I want to go. However the ICA, being in central London, is very nice but definitely expensive drinks wise. As for the actual room the gig was held in, it was nothing special, just a big black box, but it was nice and spacious, I could see the band and I didn't suffocate and die with heat, so I was happy.

We got in in time to catch two or three songs from Melodica, Melody and Me. They were a five piece playing country style rolling beats with the exxciting difference that they had two Melodica players in addition to the usual guitars and drums. One was 'lead' melodica and plays the part of an accordion with a difference, lending a cool sound to what might otherwise have been more boring music, and the other was a girl whose main duty was backing vocals but came in on backing melodica several times. Can't really remember anything about the lyrics, but I liked the band.

Next up were Mumford And Sons, a more straightforward country sounding group with stomping foot drums, singing in harmony and a double bassist and keyboardist in addition to guitar. They reminded me a lot of The Epstein with their slower more emotional songs but I thought they were at their best when playing loud and fast, they made me want to dance and that is all you can ask for in a performance.

Finally on stage were Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit. As before when I saw him the live experience of Johnny Flynn's songs definitely surpasses the recordings, the pounding drums, the high pitch squeaks of the cello, the backing singing skills of the drummer, and the fact that every band member swapped instruments several times all meake a Johnny Flynn gig very enjoyable. The band were friendly, and the songs that haven't been released as singles are still just as good as those released already. My personal favourite was The Wrote and the Writ which is in fact a quieter slow song but I think the lyrics really shine through and the tune is brilliant. The other absolute standout track was Hong Kong Cemetery, the whole thing starts out quiet and builds up with cornet and loudness to a great chorus, and the band screaming the backing shouts of 'I'm alright' behind really sets the hair on end.

Johnny Flynn is only ever reported in the music press with snide comments anout his background, but dammit, his music is really good. He deserves success. And don't forget the Sussex Wit, without whom Johnny Flynn would be much less impressive.

Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit

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