Archive for the ‘The Boy Who Trapped The Sun’ Tag

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – Fireplace

If you weren’t already aware of my love for The Boy Who Trapped The Sun then you clearly haven’t been following me on twitter or read this review of a live performance of his. In fact, I’ve seen him twice now. And loved him both times.

Scottish born Colin MacLeod has just released his debut album Fireplace and as much as I’d like to keep this amazing album to myself so he keeps playing small shows, he’s too good for me not to share.

I know I should do the orderly thing and begin with the first track and work my way through nicely, but I can’t. Because this album is home to one of my favourite songs ever – may I (re)introduce you to Dreaming Like A Fool. A song about sleeping next to someone who is planning on killing you, the metaphors are pretty full on – “You could never be an actress/I know the knife’s under the mattress”. The song is catchy. But not repetitive. It’s deep. Without being depressing. In other words, it’s perfectly balanced and I urge you all to give it a listen (or even a legal download!)

Now, back to the beginning. Golden opens the album with the sound of a seashore immediately relaxing you and preparing you for MacLeod’s vocals. His soft voice works so well with the guitar that you just want to hug him. Soothing vocals are also found in Katy – the first single from the album. Whilst it’s more upbeat with it’s quicker tempo, it still has the heartfelt lyrics that define the album.

Title track Fireplace, the slightly haunting I See You and an old favourite of mine Home all show MacLeod’s Scottish accent being given a starring role. The latter also houses a great bass line that I adore. He doesn’t disappoint in Thorn In Your Side or Walking In The Dark either. He doesn’t disappoint anywhere on this album. It’s a rarity that I love every track on an album, but I genuinely do. If anything I’d say his hidden track Poem is his weakest but that’s solely due to it being a poem – an art form I often struggle to appreciate. But if you like poetry then I’m sure you’ll love it.

Telescope has a strong opening guitar line that leads into those familiar soft vocals. And Copper Down is stunning. Oh, and I can’t fault Antique Cobweb either.

To put it simply: I love this album. I love Dreaming Like A Fool to the extreme. But this album is definitely worth a buy. And if you get the chance to see The Boy Who Trapped The Sun live (he’s playing at V this month) then you must go and see him.

Lisa Mitchell, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun and Benjamin Francis Leftwich at ARU, Cambridge

A cold winter spring night in Cambridge. An Australian singer songwriter is performing. Who is in the crowd? Obviously, it’s me. “Who is tonight’s obscurity from down under?” I hear you all ask yourselves rhetorically. Well, I shall ignore your use of rhetoric and tell you that this performer is a young girl (I think she’s nineteen, maybe twenty) and her name is Lisa Mitchell.

Her claim to fame over here is that Neopolitan Dreams was played in the Surf Advert. I say it’s ‘her’ claim to fame, she didn’t actually mention it as she played at the Anglia Ruskin Student Union. In fact, she failed to say much at all in between her songs. Perhaps she was feeling a little quiet last night as she politely thanked the audience after every song before strumming away at the next one. This didn’t really allow for massive audience interaction but the three drunken Australians doing strange jigs throughout the set suggested that she didn’t disappoint despite her lack of banter.

The set started late, with Lisa not arriving on stage until 10.34. Fortunately I did not need to catch the particularly early last train home from Cambridge at 10.41 as I would have missed the entirety of her set. My thanks have to go to Frankie’s dad for coming and driving us home. Had he not then it would have been a bit of a waste of a gig if I’m honest.

Nearly all of the songs from Wonder were played. Though sadly my favourite song from an EP, Alice In Wonderland was not. Lisa doesn’t have the most powerful voice, but she manipulates it to work alongside the instruments to create a unique sound. Whilst I’ve mentioned that her audience interaction could be improved, her random hops and awkward dancing entertained us in the likes of Neopolitan Dreams and Coin Laundry.

Supporting Lisa, were both Benjamin Francis Leftwich and The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. Whilst I’d previously seen the latter as a support act for Pete Murray in August last year, the first act was unknown to me. However I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by his vocals and acoustic guitar playing. His set could have done with one or two upbeat songs in there but that wasn’t his sound and I’m not going to judge him for it. The second artist, accompanied by a cellist, was still as good as when I first saw him. His track Dreaming Like A Fool had struck a chord with me last time and, despite it never being released and me not having listened to it since I saw it, I still managed to remember all the words to the chorus. “You could never be an actress/I know the knife’s under the mattress/If this is love I’d rather keep dreaming/Dreaming like a fool” There’s just something about those lines that makes them so powerful. Admittedly sleeping with a knife underneath you is pretty full on, but he’s crafted the metaphors into the song so that it’s complexity becomes enchanting. He’s got a new EP out now, and he assured me that Dreaming Like A Fool will be released in the summer.

Overall, it was a great gig. And well worth the six pound ticket. The venue was alright as well. It wasn’t even half full though which wasn’t great for an artist who deserves a lot more recognition.