Wildwood Kin live @ The Phoenix, Exeter – 13/05/2016

Having been invited to attend this gig by the guys behind BBC Introducing Devon, there were four bands on offer to check out but having dragged myself through a tough week I was flagging before I even got there. However, I’ve wanted to catch Exeter trio Wildwood Kin live for a while so I dragged myself up the A38 and as the crowd began to swell in the excellent Exeter Phoenix there was palpable anticipation in the air.

For the uninitiated, Wildwood Kin are two sisters (Emilie and Beth) and their cousin Meghann who
Willdwood Kin @ Exeter Phoenix
plough a furrow not a million miles away from Laura Marling jamming with First Aid Kit in an Appalachian log cabin. So when three nervous looking and slightly shy musicians shuffle on to the stage hiding behind a beanie hat and/or long straight hair I wasn’t expecting the live version to live up to the beautiful recordings I had heard. I was wrong. What this trio do is let the music do the talking and from the first intricately interwoven guitar and mandolin notes it’s obvious that this is a massively talented group of musicians and songwriters.

Old and new songs blend together smoothly and, despite a couple of technical hitches, Wildwood Kin hold the audience under their spell for the entire set. The key to the bewitching sound of these three sirens, however, is there unnervingly pitch perfect vocal harmonies that have a power all of their own. The likes of local peers Sound Of The Sirens and LWM favourites Indigo Girls have always moved me with the rich, blended vocal tones but Wildwood Kin take this skill to a whole new level which I’m not remotely ashamed to say moved me to tears. This family band have got talent to spare, a clutch of beautiful songs and a work ethic that surely makes their parents proud. If I was a hard-nosed music executive, I would say that they need to work on their stage personas a bit but actually I quite like their timid and gentle approach to audience communication which suits the music perfectly.

Apologies to the other bands performing on the night but after the week I’d had and the emotional ringer I’d been through with the Wildwood Kin experience I was in no fit state to take any more music in. Next time…..

Live Dates:

19th May – The Dolphin, Wellington
21st May – The Watering Hole, Perranporth
29th May – Exmouth Festival, Exmouth
3rd June – How The Light Gets In Festival, Hay On Wye
4th June – LemonFest, Newton Abbot
19th June – Moreton Music Day, Newton Abbot
23rd June – Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury
30th June – Tileyard Studios, London
2nd July – The Big Mix Festival, Lyme Regis
3rd July – Smoked & Uncut Festival, Studland
5th July – Islington Academy 2, London
8th July – Chichester Festival, Chichester
9th July – The Ship Inn, Padstow
10th July – The Dolphin, Wellington
17th July – Larmer Tree Festival, Salisbury
22nd July – Chagstock, Chagford
24th July – Tonefest, Lyme Regis
30th July – Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge
3rd August – Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth
10th August – Creation Fest, Wadebridge
19th August – Beautiful Days Festival, Ottery St. Mary
26th August – The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington
18th September – Lostwithiel Festival, Lostwithiel
28th September – Looe Festival, Looe
10th November – Bridport Electric Parade, Bridport w/ Seth Lakeman
1st December – St George’s Church, Brighton w/ Seth Lakeman

4th December – Oxford Town Hall, Oxford w/Seth Lakeman