Opening the evening of American folk with a quirky twist was Daniel Knox, who combined amusing and powerful lyrics with Keyboard, Melodica and Kazoo providing a witty and entertaining set. Daniel had an easy-going manner with humorous repartee all the self-penned numbers had interesting and thought-provoking lyrics highlight for me was David Carmichael a ghost story. Daniel was a perfect opener that was enjoyed by the packed audience waiting to hear The Handsome Family in The Globe on a Sunday evening.
It was packed with a buzz of excited anticipation that ran around the venue as we waited, with many fans, to hear The Handsome Family live in Cardiff, with the hope of hearing tracks from their current album Wilderness and from their back catalogue. The centre of the group is the husband and wife team of Rennie, stage left on her bass Ukulele, vocals and Zither and stage right Brett guitar/vocals and providing a backdrop of an interesting and talented array of percussion skills Jason Tosh. The rapport with the audience was built throughout the show and nothing the, rather boisterous at times, crowd threw at them was being ignored. They were responded to with a laugh and the sparks of magnetism were built as they had a friendly bickering as they introduced each song we all got to know them and their thought processes a little bit more. This is definitely music that is alternative, quirky and full of lyrics that develop and share emotions as in The Loneliness of Magnets and many recognized Far From the Any Road as the song that is the theme tune of True Detective. Every song sung and story told immersed you in the story being told and showed the breadth and depth of their catalogue of emotional melodies amassed after ten albums.
An amazing array of innovations with the drums by Jason using all available props this is percussion that is both controlled and on the edge, loved the innovative dampening on the cymbals. Tiny Tina was about the regret of putting something off because the tiniest horse visit as part of the fair every year BUT don’t put it off seeing Tina as there will be a year when she doesn’t come to town. The encore was a delight and appeased partially the desire to hear more of their originality and wonderful earthy country music. This was a stylish set from beginning to end there was a great live rendition of Frogs from their latest album and themes of such diversity were explored with humour, sadness and every emotion in-between, we all loved their music tonight in Cardiff.
There is an other-worldliness about their American fold driven music of woods and lands undiscovered mysteries and hauntings as they twist Gothic with the modern and the heritage of folk with a contemporary and relative sound, The Handsome Family are an eccentric musically driven delight. A wonderful musical experience, quiet unique thank you Handsome Family for an amazing evening of live music.