Wildwood Kin – Live at the Boileroom, Guildford ****

One of the hottest acts on the UK indie-folk-Americana scene, Wildwood Kin have been described by the BBC’s Bob Harris as “exquisite” and it’s easy to see why.

A family affair from the West Country, Wildwood Kin are two sisters, Beth and Emillie Key and their cousin Meghann Loney. All three share vocal duties, taking turns as lead, and all harmonise. Beth plays the Irish bouzouki, Emillie the guitar and Meghann drums. Harmonies from siblings are often closer than others and Wildwood Kins’ echo The Secret Sisters from Alabama.

Support act Ed Prosek added to the feeling of family when Wildwood Kin came out to harmonise with him for an unamplified and beautiful end to his set with the track Home, showing the camaraderie that develops between acts on the road.

Beginning the show in darkness with Warrior Daughter from their debut Album Turning Tides, the girls haunting vocals cut through the expectant atmosphere in the Boileroom. Run and Author followed, with wondrous harmonies.

Wildwood Kin are working on a new album, and for this tour have recorded an EP of covers, one of which is Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground. They performed an extraordinary version, slower, blues-ey, energetic and magnificent.

Turning Tides, about the power of communication, was more folky, similar to the 70s American female duo Heart. Hold On is a song of hope and encouragement for anyone that’s going through a hard time. The single Steady My Heart that they played on the Old Grey Whistle Test’s 40th birthday show had a distinctive edge to it and a new track, Listen, showed the new material is strong.

Closing the show with On And On and Taking a Hold, the girls returned for the encore track The Valley. Definitely a group to watch.

Review by Chaz Brooks

Categories: Latest, Live Reviews, UK Artists

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