1798503_1387728964825226_1992239590_n– THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER –

This evening seems somewhat of an exciting evening to be an Owen Pallett fan as he’s playing the first date of a long over due UK tour and today he just been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, which is Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury. The Ontario based songwriter/ musician composer is over here in support of new LP In Conflict, the second under his own name and fourth overall as he previously went under the alias of Final Fantasy. He’s also arranged strings for the likes of Grizzly Bear, The National, Fucked Up and is the reason why Arcade Fire’s records are always richly enhanced by strings. Basically, the guy is ludicrously talented and tonight’s crowd at The Deaf Institute await his arrival to the stage with the pure excitement. 

Owen begins the set alone, although you wouldn’t think it, armed with a violin, a synth and a loop station, he re-creates his lavish arrangements to an unbelievable extent. I can’t quite believe that one guy is making such a grand, majestic sound and the rest of the audience are in absolute awe, one woman keeps looking at her friend with her jaw almost on the floor. There is such an art to looping sounds live and trying to not make it sound over chaotic and cohesive is another challenge, but Owen plays almost effortlessly, using his violin to create beats, sound effects and bass lines. 

Owen is then joined by a two piece backing back; a guitarist and drummer. He still layers up his strings and synths which now with drums and a very bass-like guitar sound, sounds even bigger. The their piece plough through selected cuts of  Owen’s  back catalog, with a fair chunk of songs from the new LP, The Secret Seven is a total highlight with its joyous plucked string groove. 

A crowd members politely shouts “play Two Hearts”, a track from his debut Final Fantasy album in which Owen replies “awh man, thats such a bummer though”. Luckily for this lady, as Owen and his band finish up with a rousing rendition of ‘The Great Elsewhere’ a standout from his superb Heartland album, he decides to play the request as his last song “because you guys have been so nice”, he says. 

All in all, a spellbinding show from a genuinely inspiring and charming talent.

Owen Pallett  Official | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.