Smoke Fairies’ support on Wednesday night came in the form of Bear’s Den, opening with a big emotive sound with little apparent application. Just three members big & often trading instruments; guitar for banjo, drums for bass, they very nicely fill the support slot and win the audience over with their singer’s delicate charm and bountiful praise for York. Pompeii is a beautifully crafted song and well worth seeking out for further listening.
The stage is a more crowded affair for Smoke Fairies but for all the outstanding hair (facial and otherwise) of the backing band it is Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies that hold all the attention.
Quintessentially English but having cut their teeth in America ~ they were the first UK act to release through Jack White’s ‘Third Man Records’ ~ they are free to mine a darker and dirtier seam of blusey influences. The bottleneck guitar on ‘The Three Of Us’ is positively filthy.
They might have held on to a bit too much of their English reserve when it comes to playing live and tracks like ‘Feel It Coming Near’ strain to be allowed off the leash completely.
Much has been made of the heavier hand laid on this year’s album ‘Blood Speaks’ and it is here where they impress the most, album opener ‘Let me know’ is intoxicating and ‘Take Me Down When You Go’ is the perfect vehicle for the purity and range of their dual vocals. Smoke Fairies have everything in place to continue their adventure and it will be intriguing to see where they take us next.