Review: Midlake

Simon ParkinFully bearded-up and clad in plaid shirts, this highly-regarded Texan quintet may look like they've stepped straight out of American alternative rock central casting, but make no mistake they're the real deal.Simon Parkin

Norwich Arts Centre

Fully bearded-up and clad in plaid shirts, this highly-regarded Texan quintet may look like they've stepped straight out of American alternative rock central casting, but make no mistake they're the real deal.

Making their long-awaited return with a UK to coincide with their third album, The Courage Of Others, this sold-out show had notably attracted everyone from indie kids to classic rock fans of a certain age, which is a testament to their widespread appeal.


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Following on their country-rock flavoured breakthrough The Trials of Van Occupanther, the new material which dominated most of the set had a decidedly late-60s English folk feel about it.

The laidback rock beats that were such a hit last time have been largely replaced with something altogether more plaintive, with delicate acoustic melodies and near-cloisterish vocal harmonies.

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Rather than anything to scare the horses though, this new approach felt more like a natural extension. And while it wasn't as immediate, they've got to praised for not just rehashing Head Home, their sublime gem that closes the show.

Live their number has swelled to seven, which poses a problem as they were struggling to even fit on the Arts Centre stage. But musically it was a near faultless performance.

And with a shy charm that extended to wide-eyed wonderment at the delights of St Benedict's Street, it certainly delighted those who'd come in high expectation.

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