Friday, March 21, 2008

Johnny Flynn, no Jing Jang Jong

You might have noticed that things have got a bit folked up over at abstractboy HQ. The possibility has always been there.. the junior Moldy Peaches obsession, all that fawning over Patrick Wolf, Bright Eyes, to the Nico, Vashti Bunyan and Emiliana Torrini records in my collection.

Right now Britain is positively haemorrhaging with folky talent. I loathe to use the word 'scene', but there is one, in that most of the emerging acts and artists are friends, taking each other on tour, stepping in when band members are sick, releasing split 7"S, etc. The chap who I'm writing about today, Johnny Flynn, actually set up an anti-folk night in London

Bands I'm going to be going to see (and reporting back here, obvz) are Noah and the Whale, Mumford and Sons, Slow Club, Jay Jay Pistolet and I'm sure there'll be many more to come. And of course, Laura Marling is the figurehead.

Supporting Laura at her Union Chapel gig was Johnny Flynn and his band, The Sussex Wit. When Johnny and the band stepped on stage I was struck by his undeniable handsomeness; foppish blonde hair, rosy cheeks, sharp features and a good ol' checked shirt. However, the good looks were no distraction from his real asset: unassuming, folky, romantic songs with crafty, witty, poetically heartstopping lyrics that seemed to just slip off his tongue. Their composition was absolutely perfect with banjos, violins, guitars, slide guitars all tinkling away to create a sound that is full, warm and complementary. His sister, Lily, proudly plays keyboard and provides the essential female backing vocals.

As one of the youngest ever Royal Shakespeare Company actors, one might have expected a bit more chatter between songs; instead he fumbled around and muttered awkwardly. Clicheed, but probably true, Johnny Flynn and his band are all about the music. Switcing instruments frequently and playing with calm gusto, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit are a great band to watch and to listen to. Their single, Leftovers is out now and there's an album coming out in May. I, for one, am very excited.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 3/21/2008 01:48:00 pm


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