I saw Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit a few weeks ago with my sister & friend at the Institute in Birmingham. After buying tickets way back in August, this night had been long-awaited. So, despite being exhausted after a long school day, I was so excited to see Johnny Flynn for the first time, after having admired his music for many years. After school & freshening up, we made our way to town to grab a bite to eat first. It was decided that we would dine at Urban Pie -- and so we did. Following the meal, we made our way down to the Institute to queue up! We managed to get a pretty good spot right in the front row, though it was off to the right side. Nevertheless, it provided a good view for the rest of the night.
The two support acts, Cosmo Sheldrake and Marika Hackman, were both fantastic. Truth be told, I'm always wary of support acts as it can sometimes be a bit of a drag waiting for the main act to come on stage. However, both of them gave stellar performances, despite being on completely different ends of the musical spectrum. It was refreshing to see two such talented musicians! Since the gig, I've actually found myself looking up their music on Youtube and have been listening to a great deal of their stuff! I highly recommend Cosmo Sheldrake's 'Rich' and Marika Hackman's 'Bath is Black'.
Anyway, back to the gig... Finally, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit came onto the stage in a very modest, unassuming way -- totally unannounced. So much so that I almost missed them entering the stage as I was preoccupied with chatting to my friends. Accompanied by his band mates, Cosmo Sheldrake and his sister Lillie, Johnny Flynn was absolutely wonderful. Their setlist was perfect, combined with a mixture of some old favourites as well as a couple of new ones from the new album, Country Mile. 'Bottom of the Sea Blues', 'Murmuration' and 'The Lady is Risen' were all so so so good. My heart literally melted -- okay, not literally -- when he sang The Wrote & The Writ. It is one of my favourite songs ever ever ever and I couldn't quite believe that I was standing there listening to this man sing it right in front of me.
Two highlights were when he sang 'Howl' and 'Barnacled Warship'. Both songs truly demonstrated just how talented Johnny Flynn is, with his multiple-instrument-playing skills in full force. The way he played that trumpet & violin had me in awe all the way through the songs. A few other firm favourites, including 'Brown Trout Blues', 'The Water' (as a duet with his sister, Lillie), 'The Box' and 'Tickle Me Pink', were all met with resounding applause from the audience. At the start of the encore, everyone was shouting out songs for him to sing... Naturally, I had to request one of his new ones, 'After Eliot', which is just one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a long time... And lo and behold, he actually sang it! (Later on, I found out that it was already on the setlist, but I can dream that he had actually acknowledged my existence, haha!) After a perfect finale, in which they played 'Eyeless in Holloway', the post-gig blues were kicking in pretty fast. At the end, we stuck around for a bit and managed to get hold of the setlist from the stage! Such a perfect way to end the night.
Here are some photos:
^^^ The magnificent Johnny Flynn ^^^
Practically every single one of my favourite days/nights has involved live music in one form or another. There is something so incredibly special about watching your favourite musicians perform, especially when they perform a song that you've replayed so many times in your head and committed to memory. Nothing in the world can top that feeling (in my humble opinion).
Anyway! I hope you're all well and good. I've been a bit MIA on the old blog front again, but with the stresses of UCAS and university applications behind me (which I'll be talking about in a little update post soon), I can hopefully sit down and enjoy a few of my favourite blogs.
Lots of love!