Restrained brilliance and sheer beauty – Mandolin Orange Live in London  Review- *****

“We’ve got a bunch of new songs to play you guys” chirped Emily Frantz. On the last date of their European tour Mandolin Orange were at London’s Islington Assembly Hall to promote their beautiful new album Tides Of A Teardrop

The Americana duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz from North Carolina took to the stage alone and were joined by the other three members of the touring band (guitar/bass/drums) midway through the fourth number. The sound then became fuller, perfectly augmenting the duo’s sensitivity.

Opener Mother Dear and several other tracks including The Wolves, Late September and When She’s Feeling Blue came from the new album.

Restrained brilliance filled the room and the sheer beauty of the performance was mesmerising. It would be harsh to say this show was anything but perfect. Marlin took the lion’s share of the vocal lead duties with Frantz and the band adding sumptuous harmonies. Sound quality at the venue was incredible.

Bringing back support act Michaela Anne for the encore, Marlin and Frantz finished as a duo with the beautiful Lonesome Whistle.

From gentle folk to bluegrass and shades of The Punch Brothers to a traditional Irish reel, stunning harmonies and gorgeously rich violin playing from Frantz, this group has it all and you should catch a piece of it.

Words by Chaz Brooks

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