Rhys Williams Album Launch, March 2017, The Crowndale, Camden, London, United Kingdom
Rhys Williams Album Launch
Wednesday 1st March 2017
The Crowndale, Camden, London, United Kingdom
As I traveled to Mornington Crescent Tube station I was shocked at how difficult the journey was with delayed Tubes and the large numbers of people piling in and out of the lifts. I managed to arrive at The Crowndale in the nick of time to catch Rhys Williams full band live set.
On entry to the venue, you are confronted by a large bar area manned by friendly staff and a huge white brick wall which has The Crowndale written in glistening gold paint and two golden Greek God looking statues either side.
Rhys Williams and his three-piece band took to the stage to rapturous applause as he took his place at his keyboard smiling throughout. His stage banter is on point and humorous especially during a slight technical glitch “Who things we should have more vocal in my microphone?” Several audience members raised their hands and this was met with “Alright guys, let’s not turn this into a committee!”
‘Homes On Fire’ was written from the point of view of a London rioter after Williams watched the news and saw a rioter commenting about the consequences of his acts “I know that I now have a criminal record but I didn’t care because I was in the moment and felt something different during the riots.” A powerful track for sure.
It seemed fitting that Caerphilly-born Rhys performed tracks from his new album ‘We Are Climbing Angel Mountain’ for us on St David’s Day and his performance of the title track had real raw emotion as he sang about scattering his late mother’s ashes on Carn Ingli, an imposing mountain in Pembrokeshire.
Everyone in the room raised their glasses to Barbara Williams and for me it was a fitting tribute. The band have been performing live and working together for nine years and they were incredibly fluid as a musical unit. No one played over anyone else, the solos were groovy without being tedious and everyone received a thank from Rhys and a round of applause from the crowd.
‘Lightning’ was Williams’s take on the end of the world; “At the end of the world everyone would first think it wasn’t the end of the world and then upon realisation, we would party so hard that our faces would melt off!” His sound is very much in the vain of early material by The Feeling meets Daniel Powter. That blend of happy-go-lucky melodic pop with lyrics filled with important messages about life, death and relationships. Given that The Feeling are currently on a hiatus so that the individual members can pursue solo projects now is the perfect time for Rhys Williams to step into the light with his brand new record.
‘Brandy Head’ is about our obsession with technology, especially mobile phones. Interestingly enough, the government issued new penalties for using mobile phones whilst driving two days before this show increasing the fine to £200 and doubling the amount of points on your driving licence from three to six. It might be a good idea to try and put the song a sync on a hard-hitting television advert for THINK!, the police or the Highways Agency.
A person could be driving and listening to the song on their radio whilst a text message comes through. Just a thought…
Encore ‘Come Outside’ is not about the successful BBC children’s series starring Lynda Barron as as Auntie Mabel and her dog Pippin and their educational adventures. How she was able to fly a spotty aeroplane with her dog as the fellow pilot AND without having to show her pilot’s licence to the authorities is beyond me…
It is actually about playing late night gigs for hours and then leaving the venue as the sun comes out. “You are standing in a Tesco Metro and watching people traveling to work early in the morning and thinking ‘What’s the point of me?’ It was a rousing finish to a well-thought out set played by exceptionally talented musicians.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening from a man who has really been through the mill emotionally and has got up, dusted himself off, put on his signature hat and stepped into sun. This is his time and if you enjoy the music of ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), The Feeling, Daniel Powter or Gavin DeGraw then give Rhys Williams new album a spin.
(Thanks Sam G)