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Villagers – A Band To See Live
Harry Wilkinson (Small Green Invasion)

I recently saw Villagers play live and they literally blew me away, I have never witnessed such a powerful band, one that can possess an audience with such intensity. I’m not talking about the kind of power that enrages an aggressive mosh pit; I’m talking about the power of intimacy that the Villagers supply. With the light strum of an acoustic guitar, and pitch perfect harmonies for part of the set, compared with heavy grungy lead, trippy bass lines and powerful drums for the other half, it was bound to be an interesting set. With these two contrasting sounds, they possessed a certain level of power that other bands can only dream of with holding.

On the 13th of February 2013, villagers headlined at GORILLA in Manchester, a wonderfully intimate venue, holding a maximum capacity of 600. Villagers completely packed the place, creating an atmosphere that was both breathtaking and personal.

Villagers are an Irish band fronted by Conor O'Brien, who’s vocals were the highlight of the night, tender and haunting, powerful and heartfelt with beautiful lyrics that are almost story like. When listening to him live, it casts a spell upon the audience and puts them in a dream like state of mind. That’s the kind of power he holds as a frontman. Possibly one of the best I have seen.

Their debut album Becoming a Jackal was released in 2010 and was shortlisted for both the Mercury Prize and the Choice Music Prize. Their follow-up album, {Awayland}, was released on the 14th January 2013, alongside the second single from the album, Nothing Arrived.

They finished their set with a blast, with “Ship Of Promises”. An intense song which draws you in and never lets go, it shows Villagers in all their glory. “Lets finish with something to remember” said Conor, bursting with righteous confidence. They certainly did that. With its constant change in tempo and beautifully crafted lyrics, it left the melody dancing in my mind for many days after.

Their debut ablum “Becoming A Jackal” went straight to number 1 on both the Irish Albums Chart and the Irish Indie Albums Chart. It proceeded to continuously top the indie chart.
Villagers are destined for big things, watch out for them!

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