Òran Mór – 6/10

The first time I caught a glimpse of Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit was at the Gentlemen of The Road Festival earlier this summer. Albeit a very pleasant experience, I can’t but admit that the memory of that endeavour is slightly blurry, due to … reasons. It is thus with eager anticipation that I once again watch Mr Flynn take to the stage, this time at Glasgow’s Òran Mór.

The gig follows the release of Flynn’s 4th album: Country Mile, which falls in line nicely with his previous albums. It still advocates a very folky sound, but this time with a slightly more dominant electric guitar.

The performance feels quite short, and unlike the usual banter that tends to occur during these small, intimate gigs, there is very little interaction with the audience. Flynn himself is very shy, and apart from when one of the strings of his banjo breaks he remains quiet between songs. Nevertheless he makes up for it by charming the audience by playing not only the guitar, but also violin, trumpet and banjo.

There is a bit of a dip midway through the show, and songs like “Einstein’s Idea” and surprisingly enough, the popular “The Wrote & The Wit” get somewhat lost amidst the array of great songs that he serves up. During these songs, the voice of his sister Lillie Flynn is barely audible, and some of the instrumental sections that are so strong on record, sound slightly chaotic and unplanned when played live.

In spite of this, the set includes several gems like “Eyeless in the Holloway”, “Howl”, and the foolproof triumph – “Tickle Me Pink”, which has the audience singing and shaking their tail-feathers in delight. His vocals are just as strong live as they are on record, and in the most positive of ways, similar to that of The Tallest Man on Earth, Flynn’s voice sounds like something one would hear on an old vinyl.

He may not be a man of many words, but in the end it does comes down to the music, and one cannot deny the musical talent that Johnny Flynn possesses. I am so pleased that I got a second chance to see him live. This time around, the memories that I carry with me are anything but blurry.

[Frida Runnkvist]

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