As the home of local live music The Sugarmill has seen Aaron Mobberley take to the stage many a time but his headline slot on September 15 was a little different. The night saw the young singer songwriter, celebrate the release of his new single Unison Harmonies. This was actually the first time I have managed to see Mobberley on stage since he has moved away from the post punk stylings of the Clockwork Owls to embrace classic folk.
When the small crowd, including Mobberley, were presented with a huge screen playing the music video for aforementioned single the atmosphere was, at first exceptionally awkward. But as soon as we all got sucked into the well filmed video for a very involving song the awkwardness melted away. Once the screen went black Aaron stepped on stage to the sound of enthusiastic cheers.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, before the headliner punters were treated three highly enjoyable support acts. Samuel Astley warmed the crowd up with his Americana tinged acoustic sounds who was followed by Monster I Am. The duo who have a bigger sound than Astley rocked the venue up a little, with the a mix of original songs and covers the pair received a great response. The highlight of Monster I Am’s set was definitely their smooth folk take of The Killers Mr. Brightside which when trying to draw a sound comparison would have to be described as somewhere between hipster god Bon Iver and American indie punks Halos. The final support slot was filled by Irish singer songwriter Marc O’Reilly whose acoustic root style lulled the crowed into a quiet appreciation with his highly emotive vocals and delicate guitar work.
Speaking to the headliner before his set Aaron actually confided in me that he felt that O’Reilly was a hard act to follow, so did he manage to provide the performance of the night?
Of course he did! Tonight was Mobberley’s night. The night he unleashed his brand new single on his home town and the majority of the crowd were close friends and loyal fans who made the young musician feel instantly at home on the familiar stage. As soon as he had his guitar in place the small but visibly excited audience flocked to the front of the dance floor.
For the first few songs Aaron was alone on stage with just his guitar for company. Opening with his set with gentler songs allowing him to showcase his wonderfully husky toned vocal to perfection and giving him the chance to up the tempo midway through his set when he was joined on stage by his live band. On record all instruments are played by Aaron himself but live he needs a little help for his heavier sounding works. The talented trio who are the musical backdrop for Mobberley’s lead guitar and vocals with the occasional harmonica thrown in for good measure filled the Sugarmill with sound which the crowd responded to with severely enthusiastic dancing. As I glanced around I noticed that many people were singing along to every single word.
Bookending the night with the rawer but if anything seemingly more heartfelt live version of Unison Harmonies was the perfect finish and you could tell that as he descended from the stage Mobberley was insanely proud of his performance and that of his on stage musicians and the glint in his eye indicated that he simply can’t wait to get back up on stage. I have a strong suspicion that there will be much more to come from Aaron Mobberley in the years to come.
By Cerys Goff.