Pinegrove w/ support - live @ The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham 09/09/2016
Photographer Hayley Fearnley reviews Pinegrove live at Birmingham's The Sunflower Lounge with support from Ryan Sparrow and Peaks.
To start off the night, singer Ryan Sparrow greeted us. From the smiley face drawn on his guitar and his politeness to the audience, it’d be understandable if you thought Sparrow would bring happy songs to the stage, but you’d also be wrong. Ryan admitted himself that his songs are all pretty sad, but don’t we all love some sad songs in our life? Two songs into his set, I was thinking this guy reminded me so much of Ben Howard, and then seconds later he started playing a cover of 'Black Flies' by Ben Howard himself. A few songs later, he played a song he finished just last week and started tapping on his acoustic guitar adding drum beats,showing another level of skill to his musicianship.
Next up was Peaks, consisting of singer Ben, his guitar and a few backing tracks he’d created to add more depth to his onstage performance. Considering Peaks only consists of one person, he still made use of the stage really well and had a good stage presence that kept people engaged. The room started to fill up a bit more by this point, being previously half full to begin with. Ben sung some more recent songs and offered everyone free demos of his music.
Pinegrove came on stage a while after, squeezing through the tiny venue filled with people to get to the stage. The venue itself is a really nice intimate space, but with a sold out show, it’s a mystery how everyone fit in there, with people even standing on the staircase to get a view of the 6-piece band. This was my first time seeing Pinegrove, and it was amazing to see what a lovely bunch they all were. In between songs, the lead singer Evan was joking around with the audience and interacting with them, which is something I don’t often see with popular bands. The whole room was full of energy when they came on stage, and everyone was instantly singing along and swaying gently to the relaxing music. Part way through, Evan even started his own little rendition of 'Breathe' by Pink Floyd, after saying he saw someone write nothing but the band name in the bathroom, which had everyone laughing as he talked about it.
Overall, the night was great and the acts all worked well together providing a lovely night of laid back music, starting off with super relaxing music from Ryan Sparrow, and then working towards slightly more upbeat songs from Pinegrove.