Live Review from Rustic #2
1. Such A Short Time
2. Dressed Up In Disguise
4. Just Any Night
5. Swimming Out To Sea
6. So Long, So Long
Main support for Rustic #2 was New Age Folk duo Huckleberry Friend – self-described as two drifters who formed in early 2017.
Opener ‘Such A Short Time’ begins with soft picking and subtle trills on acoustic guitar by Swedish-born Charlie, before warmly whispering the lyrics “You plant your seed with mine”. The mellow feel is indicative of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Flaws album, before Simon enters with a falsetto harmony line off the microphone for extra subtlety. The song naturally builds and the acoustic open chords gradually become more brash.
‘Dressed Up In Disguise’ sees Charlie move to electric guitar, and Simon pick up acoustic duties. Again, the overall sound is warm, but this time, more upbeat, verging on Amy Macdonald territory. Whilst Simon’s melody glides effortlessly over the simple chord progression, Charlie offers a heavy vibrato solo to give a western country vibe, and more notably, some unexpected vocal bass ba’s in the choruses.
“This restless fear is getting old” cuts through on ‘Wrong’, where single strum chords give way to longing vocals. Charlie’s echo-laden guitar adds to the dreamy vibe, marrying with the smooth vocal melodies once more.
‘Just Any Night’ is a little more urgent, with country picking and hammer-ons, and a long instrumental outro, which allows Charlie to really show his guitar skills, with heavy use of string bends and the overall tone being more distinctive.
‘Swimming Out To Sea’ seems the most folk-tinged, with gentle picking, low “hmms” and smooth octave vocals to give an Eagle-Eyed Cherry edge, before Charlie rips in with another solo, this time with more grit and distortion than any of the previous songs.
The duo closed their impressive set with ‘So Long, So Long’ – a clear attempt at a crowd sing-along, with the vocals being as bold as ever from Simon, backed up by Charlie’s “ahhs” in the choruses to make it their most succinct folk pop tune.
In between songs, the pair had the audience in the palm of their hands with quick-witted jokes which only added to their personalities, and provided the perfect balance to the introverted and reflective lyrics that ran throughout their songs.
– Chris Gillett