Gig Review: Nick Mulvey at McHugh’s Basement (15/11/13)

BY RYAN ANNETT

What a night in McHugh’s Basement. Nick Mulvey’s music created the perfect atmosphere for a small and intimate audience. Travis is a Tourist was given as much respect as the headliner himself as he built anticipation for the big gun by strumming out some great tunes and showing off his impressive vocal range as the warm-up act. And when Nick Mulvey did take the stage, solo, he made great use of delay and reverb pedals to add an eerie and magical feel to his songs. This was most noticeable during his trademark hums that floated through almost every song. But the important thing to note is that you could hand Nick Mulvey a beaten up, completely acoustic guitar and he would still make the room as quiet as church, simply because his guitar skills are out of this world. No surprise he was the support act for Ben Howard at Belsonic then. The guitar was purring and he kept the ear interested by occasionally throwing in clash notes to add to the mystery of his music. He did something I have never seen before by putting two capos onto the same guitar, one full and one covering half the strings. His vocals matched his music perfectly, rising when the music rose and his unblemished, smooth tones appeared faultless throughout the show.

His encore piece, “Lonely Moon” was the most impressive of the bunch as he added percussive style to his already distinguished portfolio by showing off rhythmical intelligence while adding to the visual show as well. Afterwards I had the pleasure of chatting to him briefly and asked him if there was anything in particular that he wanted to feature in this review. He replied with:

“Nothing I didn’t already say up there.”

Well Mr Mulvey, you said everything you needed to say, and in this case, humming speaks louder than words.

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