Communion New Faces Tour - Ruby Lounge, Manchester
When the fine folks at Communion (whence came such luminaries as Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Daughter, Michael Kiwanuka) brought together their New Faces Tour, it was hard not to sit up and take notice. With their knock 'em dead track record, it's hard not to think these are the bright young things to watch out for in the months and years to come.
First on the bill was the lovely Annie Eve. Backed by an impressive band, Eve regaled the crowd with her winsome brand of ethereal folk (think Daughter meets Jesca Hoop). Although she looked slightly in awe of her surroundings (or perhaps just disconcerted by the rude buzzing of voices talking over her set) she none-the-less delivered a lovely set of songs drawn from her debut EP.
Next up was Farewell J.R. Softly spoken, with his barely audible mumbles between songs getting lost amongst the sound of continuing tinkle of glasses at the bar, his beautiful, crystal clear voice easily rises above the din. Songs like the eerie 'Night Wolves' and haunting 'Sickness' were highlights and encourage further exploration.
Liuke Stal-Singh was a personal favourite of the evening - as much for his fine way with stage banter, as for his wonderful music and exquisite voice. He had the audience in stitches with his loopy song introductions and stories about lost killer whales. Songs like 'Nothing Stays The Same', 'Luna' (about the aforementioned whale) and 'Fail For You' injected a dose of energy into the evening.
Finally, what the steadily growing crowd had been waiting for: young hopefuls Eliza and the Bear. Full of Mumford- banging, hollering, and rip-roaring showmanship, the acoustic guitars were gone and the electrics were in. With high-energy, big chorused tunes like 'It Gets Cold' and 'Upon The North', as well as what appears to be a steadily growing fan-base, they were headliners for a reason - and proof positive that Communion yet again know what the young folks want.