Wildwood Kin makes a welcome return to the North East of England as part of the Under The Apple Tree tour curated by Old Grey Whistle Test legend Bob Harris.
Wildwood Kin are no strangers to Tyneside having performed here alongside British country superstars Ward Thomas at the end of 2017 as well as headliners in their own right. This evening the trio tops the bill at the O2 Academy Newcastle as part of a tour that also features genre-defying roots duo Ferris and Sylvester and local rising star Callum Pitt.
The indie/folk three-piece has been off the radar for the last couple of months whilst they’ve been putting the finishing touches to their sophomore album. And this current run of UK shows has allowed the Devon-based outfit to road test some of their newest material. With the inclusion of tracks such as the thought-provoking “Beauty In Your Brokenness” and the atmospheric “Wake Up Sleeper” Wildwood Kin most certainly whets the crowd’s appetite for what is to come.
Last year the family based trio released a rare EP titled The Voices of Equilibrium which featured covers of some of the artists that inspired them. On this occasion, the group performs their take on Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”. This being one of the most innovative and original covers of this song we’ve ever heard. Wildwood Kin’s unique airing of the song is certainly less funk and more folk, and it definitely hits the spot.
This evening’s setlist largely centres on their debut album Turning Tides with highlights including an ethereal rendition of one of the first songs the group wrote together “Hold On”, a beautiful airing of “Dove” along with a show-stopping performance of “Taking A Hold” all featuring.
The thing which truly sets Wildwood Kin from the rest of their peers is their magical three-part vocal harmonies. In this respect, the group are in a league of their own. There is no weak link in the group, with each member performing lead vocal parts during the course of the evening. As musicians, they are also incredibly versatile, with Beth, in particular, grappling with a number of different instruments including Bouzouki, Keyboard and Guitar.
Even when a technical issue with the Bouzouki stops the group in their tracks, they very quickly switch up their setlist until normal service is returned. Wildwood Kin deal with this minor disruption like true professionals.
Due to a tight curfew, there is room for a very quick encore of “The Valley”. The trio explains that they usually perform this song with voice only, but due to a neighbouring concert at the venue downstairs, this proves a bit more challenging. However, it is still nothing short of breath-taking.
People often argue that the second album is the hardest for musicians – try telling this to Wildwood Kin. On the strength of tonight’s performance alone, it’s fair to say that the imminent arrival of Wildwood Kin’s sophomore record, will certainly to be one to watch out for when it drops later in the year.
Event Date: 03-May-2019