After a four-month tour across Europe, Tuesday night at the Lexington was celebrated not only as the last show of the tour, but as the band’s first ever gig in London.
The Paper Kites humbly slipped onto the stage and were met with a roar of delight from London fans who had yet to experience them live. The Melbourne five-piece provided an all-inclusive set, containing hits from their well-received EPs Woodland and Young North, debut album States, and their most recent release of their second album Twelvefour. The choice of songs captured delicate, soulful storytelling as well as bold, catchy melodies.
The Paper Kites’ sound was originally strongly influenced by folk music, with acoustic guitars and vocal harmonising as distinguishing features. Songs from the new album, such as Renegade and Too Late show abundant musical progression, while retaining the distinctiveness that drew fans to the band initially. Development of their sound is noticeable, but not so much so that newer songs stand out unwontedly against the mix of their previous tracks. The band show their multi-instrumentalism confidently, whether picking up a guitar, a bass or a banjo. Comfortable with switching instruments live allows for juxtaposition between ethereal, moody sound when lulling the audience with Bloom, or raw, emphatic sound when blasting into guitar solos in Electric Indigo.
Lead singer Sam Bentley, was incredibly affable in his interaction with the audience, calmly conversing between every few songs. His most memorable interaction however was his creation of the “The London-y City Choir” half way through the gig. Barely containing laughter, he tried to split the room into “three halves” and asking them to repeat notes back to him, encouraging the audience to sing along with the upcoming songs.
The Lexington was an amazing venue for the show as their poignant, down to earth performance demands an intimate setting to truly display the group’s charm and soulfulness. Overall the gig was both touching and invigorating, and I dare say no Paper Kites fan went home disappointed.
Words by Lily Goddard