Nick Mulvey is a soothing emotional roller coaster who is able to grip and captivate his listeners from the very get-go, says music editor Hannah Brierley
The O2 Ritz, 4th November
Everything that Nick Mulvey does is calm and collected. Absolutely zero per cent of his aura is in any way rushed, uptight or rushed. His performance at the O2 Ritz was no different from this, and he exuded complete zen.
Mulvey, who studied Ethnomusicology whilst at university, has always used what he’s learned in his solo work. This is still true, and it has to be said his new album is no major leap from his previous work. However, his music fills a niche, and it works perfectly for him.
The evening kicked off with ‘Remembering, Unconditional’ and ‘Meet Me There’ gently tickling everyone’s eardrums with accurately delicate acoustic guitar melodies and gorgeous angelic harmonies from the supporting female singers (one of which is his partner!). Mulvey sang past favourites such as ‘Cucurucu’ and ‘Fever To The Form’, during which dedicated fans sang the lyrics back to him with love, prompting him to even start over with ‘Cucurucu’ as he enjoyed hearing it echoed back to him so much.
The mellow songs ebbed, flowed and poured into the each other, dipping from work from his previous 2014 album First Mind, combined with tracks from his new album Wake Up Now. There’s an almost flawless magic in the air, the way the audience is compelled to be calm. Like a beautiful dream, it’s relaxing and soothing listening to the smooth vocals and array of different sounds that Nick uses.
‘Never Apart’ possessed an underwater vibe. Whilst listening you felt like you were floating effortlessly in a completely still sea, in the dead of the night. The occasional echoed sonar sound which was used as the underlying beat was so clever and calming to listen to. “Knowing who we are, and our place in the stars and now we are never really apart, from the whole of it all.”
‘Imogen’ was another song which stood out. Mulvey spoke about the origins of the song, stating that there was a storm occurring at the same time as his baby was being born. He decided to write the song about all that was going on whilst storm Imogen was happening. He also told the crowd that his baby was originally named after the storm, but as he turned out to be a boy they swiftly called him Inka instead.
The performance was tied together with the final song ‘Mountain to Move’. In keeping with the rest of the set, it was a tantalising combination of slow drums, swallowing your entire being, and incredibly beautiful lyrics.
Nick Mulvey is a beautiful hurricane of emotions to listen to. His musical presence has the power to hold a tightly fixed grip on his audience to hang on to every word and every note. Mulvey’s talents are second to none, which is clearly obvious to see and hear.