VerseChorusVerse, a charismatic and humble singer guitarist also known as Tony Wright from Belfast, made quite an impact on the stage of Audio. Turning in and tuning up to the Scottish crowd with confidence and some excellently rehearsed banter that was intuitively delivered to a sizeable crowd. The pure acoustic set carried a myriad of feelings conveyed through the emotional songwriting, and for a warm-up was intensely executed. The professionalism Tony exhibited wasn’t just entertaining, it was endearing and inspiring.
Tony’s comedic and sometimes interesting segues were a stark contrast from the gallant blues and perky rock and roll he played. His tongue in cheek demeanor was replaced, but not without warning, when he took on the persona of a traditional blues style singer. Crooning with a spirited husk which was both shocking and exciting. It was possible there was a seance backstage, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince clearly indisposed at customs and exorcise. There was a presence felt during that set, but I’m assured that it was all Tony.
Acquaintances of The Gathering will know Anneke Van Giersbergen. The singer that turned The Gathering around and made them one of the most prolific Gothic Rock bands of the naughties (here’s to you if_then_else.) Although the set up was different the same voice that falls like snow welcomed the crowd like a warm and close friend. The animated singer had an iron resolve. There were things blowing up, strange machines hazarding a beat from above, distractions in the shadows and none of these disturbing circumstances were enough to cause even a scintilla of a crack in her polished demeanor.
Enchanting and serene Anneke’s musical vocabulary on stage mixed her own solo material with some of The Gatherings powerful compositions. Beautifully handled and masterfully executed. On stage Anneke spoke to the crowd like a master storyteller, her face animated and synchronized with the feelings expressed through song in unison to the music. The set felt intimate; it came across as personal; teaching new ways to speak, in silence, by witnessing the performance.
The show was extraordinarily wonderful, from Tony’s witty maneuvering between songs to Anneke’s anecdotes and (seriously) terrible jokes. Finding out who they are as they did on purpose. As it was a memorable evening with great tunes played by fantastic people, with so many politically motivated campaigns conflicting the crowd, it was great to be a part of something both humble and enchanting.