Phosphorescent Live Review
Village Underground, London - 15/05/13
Matthew Houck has been performing music as Phosphorescent for well over a decade now to a loyal, if fairly modest, audience.
New album Muchacho, Houck's sixth, looks set to change that however, with its break-up themed collection of songs justifiably picking up critical acclaim across the board.
Tonight's sold-out show got off to a shonky but endearing start, after Houck and his (frankly excellent) five-piece band were forced to pad for a few minutes while some sound issues were dealt with.
Rather than leave the stage, Houck instead used the time to talk to the crowd, engendering a real sense of camaraderie between band and audience that lasted throughout the night.
The set drew heavily on material from Muchacho, with an early, and highly emotional, highlight coming in the form of recent single Song For Zula.
Ride On / Right On picked up the pace again, while Down To Go somehow managed to tread the fine line between downbeat heartbreaker and crooner classic.
A solo performance of old favourite Wolves proved another spine-tingling highlight, while a mob-handed rendition of Los Angeles went a long way to tear the roof off the already high ceilinged Village Underground - a venue not usually known for its intimacy, but which tonight was filled with an almost tangible spectral magic.
It is perhaps a lazy comparison to lump Houck in with the likes of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses or even (whisper it) a far more delicate and nuanced Kings Of Leon, but on the strength of tonight's show there's no reason for Houck not to be rewarded with a comparable level of success.
Gavin Cullen @mtvuknews