Gig Reviews

Mark Lang, The King Of Things – Richmond Theatrette 22/1/16

There’s a little window of time in an artist’s career that is special. As someone better at writing about music than making it, I’m not sure the artist would feel the same way, but I always feel quite privileged to witness this fleeting moment. It’s when the battler is on the brink, between playing in backyards and playing at The Corner, when only a select few know just how good this act really is.

We witnessed such a moment on Friday night at the Richmond Theatrette, a little venue with staff who loved a crowd and loved the music and a couple of class acts on the stage. Mark Lang of Skipping Girl Vinegar is a fucking amazing songwriter and an incredible all round musician, and flanked by support act Brent Hayhurst aka The King Of Things, the night was nothing but charming.

Good people and good music and good timing came together to send the boys on their way to Kansas City where they’ll rep their stuff at one of the world’s greatest music conferences, Folk Alliance International. This is the brink. Mark Lang’s touching lyrics and dreamy melodies deserve to be heard by the masses, but there sure was something special about hearing him speak so candidly and lovingly about his creations at this intimate little event. Highlights included the excruciatingly personal Lost In The Heads, the very special River Road and the contender for my personal fave, Fighting With Gravity. Mark is a professional, a one man band who is at home on stage, telling stories that are both relatable and and unimaginable; no easy feat.

Not to be outdone, The King Of Things treated us to a truly lovely set of tunes taken straight from personal experiences, from leaving his childhood home in Yeah, We’re Moving On to that feeling like you really fucked up last night in The Horrors. The King Of Things fell somewhere between an Ed Sheeran and a Josh Pyke, with lyrics that were boyish and raw and melodies that floated over you and got stuck in your head. Maybe not quite as comfortable in the limelight as the headliner, you can only hope that with the future success that is sure to come The King Of Things doesn’t lose the endearing awkwardness that made his set so charming.

It’s easy to see why Skipping Girl Vinegar is having a true moment, following the release of surprise album The Great Wave. Led by Mark and produced by Brad Jones (Josh Rouse, Missy Higgins) this contender for 2015 Album Of The Year is clearly just the beginning for this likeable band of battlers on the brink, and I’ll happily take the bragging rights that come with being there on Friday night.

SETLISTS

The King Of Things

Love, Don’t Wait For Me

The Horrors

Yeah, We’re Moving On

Tapestry

She’ll Be Apples

What We Do’s Enough

Make A Fire

Doug A Little Deep

Mark Lang

One Chance

One Long Week

Fighting With Gravity

Sift The Noise

Here She Comes

Bike

Refugee

Lost In The Heads

Hey Kid

Drove For Miles

You Can

Lay With Me

Hand To Hold

Castles Full Of Storms

River Road

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