A month after the release of their prominent music video for ‘Sunlight’, Bristol-based duet Meadowlark arrived at The Talking Heads in Southampton, with support from Kitty O’Neal and alternative folk trio Tenderlore.
In a venue, I had never been to (or heard of for that matter), I did not expect that greatest of stages, nevertheless, I was proved wrong. Behind an elegant looking bar and lounge room, which had old fashioned decor and a few regulars having their usual pint, was a doorway leading to a beautifully lit hall, with a stage fit for any band no matter how big or small. The mellow setting made you feel at ease as soon as you walked into the room, making it seem like a completely different venue than the bar just before it.
The room filled at an extreme rate, and before the schedule eight o’clock start time, it was bursting with spectators scrambling to find the last seats. With the crowd settling, some of which had to settle on the floor, Kitty O’Neal arrived for her set. She established the chilled atmosphere which would continue throughout the evening, along with Tenderlore who sang gracefully together. Then enter the main event, Meadowlark.
An anticipating wait finally came to an end, as Kate McGill and Daniel Broadley strolled onto the stage, which was set-up intimately. Eight freestanding lightbulbs surrounded the duet along with their expensive looking kit. The crowds eye-fixed on the duo as they start with their first song, ‘Paraffin’.
As the catchy beat of Broadley’s drums went, the lightbulbs lit. It was a powerful, not only to hear, but visually, and we were only 20 seconds into the first tune. Then singer, McGill, who alone has over 28 million views on YouTube, turned heads away from the flashing lights, as her soft voice hypnotised the crowd. The song was given the loudest round of applause of the night so far, the gig-goers absolutely loved it. McGill then spoke out to apologise for her ‘croaky’ voice, as they were coming to an end of their UK tour. This did not have any effect on the show, as her talent was not confined to her incredible voice but also playing the keys.
A few more anthems played from their ‘Postcards’ debut album, and the room was silenced. It was a joyfully delicate atmosphere, which was livened up by the energetic Broadway, who was non-stop on the move, switching between his tools of choice, spinning his drumsticks consistently and evidently relishing performing in front of a crowd that was taken back by the performance. The couple created a warm presence, from songs that were deeply touching, but also the kind that will get you hooked and will be wedged in your head for weeks after.
The set ended with a soft acoustic version of ‘Fly’. Before stating, to the disappointment of the crowd, that they would not be coming back for an encore. This was upsetting to many, maybe it was because of the long tour that they had just endured. Nevertheless, it was defiantly a show that delighted everyone who had travelled and paid to see this terrific duet.
After the show, I caught up with a few members of the crowd and they had awfully kind words for Meadowlark. When asked how his evening went, one male, who had never seen the band play before answered “Amazing. Kate has an incredible voice and Dan was very talented. The lights set up the engaging atmosphere and I really enjoyed myself.” Whereas another female gig goer, who is a lifetime fan, said
“It’s always good vibes when Meadowlark are playing. Their music is topical, generic and very ‘in’. They both always have good energy, that’s why I follow them around so much!”
Later I was able to sneak in and speak to McGill and Broadway after their queuing fans departed, and primarily asked McGill how she thought the gig went.
She replied gleefully, “Southampton was ‘fricking’ brilliant tonight! We came in and didn’t know what to expect, we kind of had an idea that there would be about ten people and then look at all of these people that turned up. That was really cool, exciting but also nerve-racking and we are just so glad it all went well and people enjoyed it.”
Now that Meadowlark are known throughout the United Kingdom as an indie-folk-pop band, how does it feel for them to realise they have this many fans and followers Broadley answered “Simply amazing.”
“When you are writing and recording music it’s such an insular process and you’re not really connecting with the outside world, and the online world can seem quite fickle. So, when you play a show and you see people who enjoy your music face to face and come and talk to you afterwards it all feels real and you understand how far your music is going.”
After conquering the United Kingdom with their trembling sounds, McGill let slip that duo will not be staying put on the island. “We are planning a European tour for next March so that will be really good. It will be exciting to see if people will actually come and enjoy it.”
To conclude, Meadowlark is a duo that you will have to go and see, they fit together like a dream. McGill’s voice is one you will never forget, while Broadley’s energetic presence and outstanding talent adds a whole new dimension.
Their sound will mesmerize you.
MEADOWLARK: official site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify