Winter People, Jordan Leser + Founds, The Factory Theatre – 13/10/2012

Saturday night at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre, Winter People were proud to launch their new album A Year at Sea. The sextet played to a sea of fans with support acts Jordan Leser and Founds.

The night kicked off with a pixie-like Leser, who left the crowd in a haze. Her haunting piano melodies were soaked up by the few punters who showed up for the first act. After watching her perform, I’d describe her voice as a chili hot chocolate: sweet and rich with a bit of an edge. So for those who arrived later, you missed out on a bewitching performance by the charming young talent – be sure to have a listen to the Sarah Blasko sound-a-like.

Next up was Founds. Some say this band is a bit of an acquired taste and I understand how they could come to that conclusion. Watching them perform felt a bit like intruding on a witch circle. The whole performance was really quite cultish. I don’t know whether to attribute the violent, synchronised gyrating to a supreme chemistry within the band or to think there was some sort of exorcism component to their music. Either way, it was an entertaining performance. The first thing I noticed was the violinist, who does not look at all like a violinist, but he was just incredible; his frenzied solos were the centre of attention. The second thing was a disappearing guitarist: he was there for one song, vanished for the next (possibly sacrificed) and reincarnated as the bass guitarist of Winter People to join in the backing vocals for the song after that. But overall, Founds played an awesome set, rife with passion and a ‘Salem Witch Trials’-esque zest.

Headliners, Winter People, were in their element. The alternative folk group is known for their sensational live acts, and they played a great show at the Factory. Lead singer, Dylan, seemed a little nervous, probably due to all the cameras around the stage filming the album launch. But once he got singing, he was faultless, as were the rest of the band. The audience was intoxicated with the soothing sounds of the Winter People melodies – and a fair bit of alcohol, some singing out to commend Toby for playing a great show (there is no Toby in the band, Dylan made sure to tell them so) – after a series of dark indie folk songs teeming with intricate harmonies, violin duets and impeccable whistling (by my new girl crush, violinist Alex).

Winter People played a number of tracks from their debut album A Year at Sea, my favourites being Valley Hymn and Winter Coat. These two songs were quintessentially Winter People: the sombre lyrics, delicate harmonies and rich texture – and they were executed perfectly. The sextet played a great set, giving fans everything you’d expect from a Winter People gig and more.

It was a successful night for the Winter People and I’d just like to thank them for making sweet musical love to my ears, and for introducing me to their very interesting, very talented supporting acts.

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