Live Review: Paper Aeroplanes & Jess Morgan – Miss Peapod’s Cafe, Penryn 03/06/12

There are gigs aplenty at Miss Peapod’s Cafe in Penryn.  If you haven’t attended one, I’d implore you to rectify that as soon as you can.  You will be treated to wonderful music and a lovely, intimate atmosphere….plus the cakes always look amazing.

Last night was a real treat, a gig I’d had in the diary for so long, I almost totally forgot it and missed it.  Unfortunately the Cornish Bank Holiday weather conspired against us, stopping a planned session with headliners Paper Aeroplanes, but as they say, the show must go on.

I finally arrived in Penryn to catch the majority of Jess Morgan’s set.  I’m grateful that I did, as she was just superb.  Jess has a lovely folky voice coupled with inspiring guitar playing akin to James Taylor.  Her songs float around Miss Peapod’s to a captivated audience….aside from a few jerks at the back who think it’s acceptable to keep talking loudly when the artist is playing.  For the majority however, she was warmly received and an ideal prelude to the main event of the evening Paper Aeroplanes.

Paper Aeroplanes are a rare commodity these days.  Sure there are plenty of acts about that are perfectly pleasant to listen to, but there’s something about Sarah Howell’s voice that is totally entrancing.  Add that to their uncanny ability to pen incredible melodies and write beautiful, poignant lyrics, and you’re on musical cloud 9.

I had my concerns as to whether the previously mentioned jerks in the back would shut up and listen to the band (not much to ask really given that everyone in attendance had paid to be there), but as soon as Sarah opened the show with ‘Save It’ on her own these doubts were put to bed.  It was as if everyone snapped to attention, clearly understanding we were all witnessing a truly special band here.  Sarah’s partner in crime Rich Llewellyn  joined in from the second song onwards, capably supported by Katy Rowe on the Violin, which gave a nice depth to the songs.  The songs still were mostly stripped back from the full band production that is on their albums, however they lost none of their appeal.

Credit goes out to the guys on the PA, as the overall sound was crystal clear, Sarah’s vocals were the perfect level to dominate but not over impose on the music, and Rich’s harmonies were beautifully warm and were the dots and crosses to the beauty of each track.  Highlights of the set included ‘Cliche’, ‘Safe Hands’ and ‘My First Love’.  However there wasn’t really a foot put wrong all night, every song was wonderfully played and beautifully sang.

The encore highlighted how awkward it is to do one without a dressing room to retreat to, as the band walked off, stood at the side of the stage looking rather embarrassed before walking back on.  Sarah exclaiming its horrible waiting there in case you aren’t asked back.  There began a cool rendition of Tom Jones’s ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ for which they invited Jess back on stage to join them, before leaving the stage to sing a haunting rendition of ‘Newport Beach’ complete with sing-a-long in the middle of the crowd.  It’s gestures like this that those attending will long remember, gone are the days when it’s all about the bands being unreachable.  Sarah, Rich, Katy and Jess were besieged post gig with well wishers, cd’s and postcards to sign from fans new and old.

The more gigs I attend like this one the better.

Paper Aeroplanes will be back down in the South West at The Studio Lounge in Totnes in November.  Check their official website or Facebook page for details.

To find out more head to these pages:

Paper Aeroplanes

Jess Morgan

Miss Peapod’s

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