On Thursday evening I saw The Sea & I live at The Islington in London... after spending the day in London with a friend from home being complete tourists and walking around far too much. Arriving at the venue fashionably early it was nice to hear a snippet of the bands sound-checking, and to grab a quick chat with Irwin and Paul from the band, before waiting around for doors to open.
The first support was a guy going by the name Privacy, who played a cracking set that reminded me of Fryars. Standing on stage with his keyboard and prone-to-rebooting-halfway-through-a-song MacBook, his stage banter made the set a great open to the evening. This glitchy, slow-paced set was followed by the loud rock tunes of Harry Mundy & The Mules, who oozed energy throughout their set.
As expected, the headliners, The Sea & I, were superb. Having seen them previously at the same venue backed up by London Contemporary Voices and London Chamber Brass, you might expect the sound to feel small in comparison; the truth is anything but. It's honestly such an honour to see them playing live, being one of my favourite bands at the minute, making some of the best (in my opinion) music around currently. Their two EPs (find them on iTunes/soundcloud or buy them both on a CD through the band's store here) contain some of my favourite tracks, and retain their charm and brilliance when performed live. It's particularly nice to see that Stephanie O'Brien is performing violin with the band, as the strings on the EPs are certainly a highlight for me.
I took some photos at the show, but my camera struggled to cope with the low/red lighting of the venue, so they all turned out quite blurry, but I've salvaged a few and put them on my Flickr here.
I also recorded the band performing the title track from their latest EP, The Great I Am, which they recently released an official video for. Aside from train delays after a frantic rush to the station after the gig, it was all in all a superb evening and I highly recommend getting along to the band's next gig at The Islington on 25th June (tickets here.)