Concert Review – False Lights

Reviewed by Ben Macnair with photos by Dave Jones

The fast rising folk-rock band False Lights launched their latest album Harmonograph when they played at Lichfield Guildhall as part of their latest tour.

The six piece band comprises the cream of young folk rock musicians on the live music scene, and their sound drew on many diverse elements, from 1970’s rock and pop, English and Celtic folk music, shape-note singing and atonal noise generation, provided by a number of instruments, and live looping.

False Lights at Lichfield Guildhall

The ensemble is led by singers and guitarists Jim Moray and Sam Carter who are both well established award winning talents, whilst the rest of the group consists of the virtuoso melodeon and fiddle duo of Tom Moore and Archie Churchill-Moss, drummer Stuart Provan and bassist Matt Downer. They played music from their debut album Salvor and latest release Harmonograph, which covered many themes and moods, from plageant folk, to rabble rousing rock and experimental post drone rock soundscapes.

False Lights at Lichfield Guildhall

The concert was started by a duo set from Jim Moray and fiddle player Tom Moore, who played a number of well received ballads, allowing the emotive quality of Moray’s vocals to be heard, whilst the set from False Lights included much of their own material, and covers performed in wholly unexpected ways.

False Lights at Lichfield Guildhall

Black Velvet Band was delivered as a minor chord murder ballad, whilst Far in Distant Lands was an old song that touched on the timely issue of immigration. Murder in the Red Barn was an old English ballad that was bought up to date with more modern sounds, and rhythms, and Drink Old England Dry was a rousing song about good times, and allowed for some harmony singing from the audience.

False Lights at Lichfield Guildhall

Crossing the Bar is an old lyric, but was delivered as a pop/rock song with a surging dynamic and tight harmony singing from the band that was as good as anything put together by such bands as The Beach Boys or The Band. The encore of How Can I keep from Singing? was delivered accappella, from the back of the guildhall, and showed the depth of talent that the group has developed.

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