Brown of beard and gold of voice: Nick Mulvey live

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June 26, 2013 by Tess Riley

Brown of beard and gold of voice, here is a musician who won’t just extend your life-expectancy, he’ll fill it with beauty too.

From the second Nick Mulvey started playing, it was clear this was going to be a special gig. The first song, ‘April’, set the tone: hypnotic, warm sounds that saw Mulvey’s voice reach a level that many a musician will yearn to attain but never quite realise. It’s sexy, it’s haunting, it’s minors teasing majors and all the while Mulvey’s mesmerising guitar playing continues.


The hypnotism carried on through the second, gently mind-blowing song, ‘Cucurucu‘, only broken when Mulvey scanned the room with a “thanks for being here” and realised actually how packed out Bethnal Green’s Seabright Arms was that night: “Shit, there’s loads of you”, he smiled. Then it was back to the music.

If a crowded basement pub comes as a surprise to Mulvey, he’s got a lot to get used to. He’s an incredibly talented singer-songwriter already well loved by the likes of Lauren Laverne, Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens. His three London shows have sold out, he’s playing Glastonbury this weekend and he’s just been announced as support for Laura Marling on her UK tour in September.

Last week, Mulvey released his debut EP, ‘Fever to the Form’, the title track of which saw the Seabright crowd whoop as soon as Mulvey started strumming the opening notes. On the EP, Fever to the Form is brilliant; live it’s stunning. Combined with haunting tracks like ‘Ailsa Craig’, heart-in-your-mouth songs like the ‘Look At Miss Ohio’ cover and the magical ‘Juramidam’ (also on the EP) – which saw charango-playing Rudi Schmidt from The Melodic take to the stage to join Mulvey – this was a magical night impossible to fault.

There’s something special about this one, make sure you don’t let him pass you by.


This review first featured on Virgin Red Room here.


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