Johnny Flynn, a wayward poster boy for this new era of folk, which I cannot laud enough. The Liquid Room in Edinburgh played host to this golden haired boy and his cavalcade of musicians, the wonderful and fun Melody Melodica and Me opened, and more than deserve mention for their foot tapping, folky harmonies and buckets of charm. They make it hard not to smile.
After seeing Laura Marling the week before in the same venue, I was quite sure that I was bound to be disappointed by anything else. If it weren’t for her harmonies on Flynn’s latest single, I may not have been so keen on going. I confess that I had only perused Johnny Flynn on myspace, and didn’t realise that he was such a fad. I didn’t know what to expect, but was happily surprised. The most disappointing thing about Johnny Flynn is his fans. Hurray for him, of course. Hoards of inescapable young go getters accumulated with an unabashed sense of camaraderie, getting in to the true spirit of folk; singing badly with songs they know and talking loudly through songs they don’t. But this and The Liquid Room’s shameful sound issues are the only negatives to the night.
London based Flynn sings with a deep coarse voice and an admirable conviction, his writing teems with poetry and drama, catchy, clever word play and sweet melodies and harmonies, bought to full force by the rich sounds of The Sussex Wit, who I cannot complement enough. On stage they are all character and honesty, none of the many instruments are taken for granted and each arrangement is exciting. Flynn played the multi talented one man band, swinging around the trumpet, mandolin, banjo and violin to add icing to a many layered cake, spread on the same table as Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling and Noah and The Whale.
Between old and new songs, between bluesy bellows and the unashamedly trad. Flynn kept the audience in high pitched squeals and rapture throughout the entire show, the foot stomping Eyeless in Holloway, and the lyrically sweet Tickle me pink, both from his first full length LP, A Larum were definite favourites. I am catching up with the well deserved trend and haven’t stopped listening to A Larum since the gig, The lyrics and tunes are happily traipsing around my mind and will for years to come.