The music industry is a notoriously fickle mistress. One moment insisting she is interested only in talent, the next bed-hopping between every Johnny-come-lately pretty face with little (if any) discernible musicality. Therefore, as a genuine music lover, it is always a great privilege to discover a truly talented act previously unknown to oneself. I had such a privilege this week at ‘Music Monday’, co-hosted by The Angel, Woodbridge and the Blue Bus Tour.
The evening began with the wonderful and lovely Lucy Sampson (usually accompanied by the excellent Ian Bearcroft on bass), who is relatively new to the touring circuit and just gets better every time she takes the stage. I have been fortunate enough to see Lucy perform several times and her brand of quirky and heartfelt pop/folk never fails to delight. She held the small crowd at this intimate venue spellbound throughout her supporting set. Her singing, playing and songwriting definitely warrant a wider audience and continued, growing success. You can follow Lucy on facebook and soundcloud to keep up to date and discover her music for yourself. However, the main act on this evening was a band I was unfamiliar with, namely Paper Aeroplanes.
Paper Aeroplanes are writing partnership Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn. With a common history in west Wales, they began their musical adventure six years ago, releasing their debut album ‘The Day We Ran Into The Sea’ in 2009. The set contained many songs from this release as well as others from ‘We are Ghosts’ and their new ep ‘Time To Be’. And what a set.
The first thing you noticed was Sarah’s beautiful, haunting voice, at times like that of a tortured angel. Before long the sheer quality and craft of the songwriting became apparent and the duo, aided and abetted on stage by the skilled double bass of John Parker, played peerlessly. Richard’s backing vocals and guitar work being perfectly pitched to compliment Sarah’s own guitar and sexy, melancholic vocals. Vocals which contain heartbreak and hope, desire and despair and (to use their own words) eggshells and shy secrets in their mix of confident, unpretentious contemporary folk.
Every song was performed with such natural accomplishment and human feeling it was impossible not to be captured by the world within the lyrics. The world of Paper Aeroplanes. The set flew by with great song following great song but the icing on the cake of this musical feast was the finale of the encore. An unplugged version of ‘Newport Beach’ was a beautiful signature.
So, look out for this wonderful band, buy their music and if you get the chance, see them play live. Their time to be has surely come.