This past weekend Dublin Ireland’s Villagers, project of sonic mastermind Conor O’Brien, reminded San Francisco what powerful songwriting can be.
Starting on Saturday night, the band took a break from their tour with Paul Weller and braved it alone for their first headlining show of their latest album Darling Arthmetic in San Francisco at the Swedish American Hall. The all-seated venue was the optimal environment to wrap oneself in O’Brien’s resonant voice. Touring as a stripped down three piece featuring welsh virtuosos, Gwion Llewelyn (Drums, Trumpet, Vocals) and Mali Llywelyn (Keyboard, Piano, Vocals) the band shuffled through top drawer tracks from the Villagers three albums, harmonizing like a finger ringing around a crystal glass — perfection.
The wide eyed audience was then hit with “Becoming a Jackal”, where full crowd participation harmonizing was required, and they obliged creating an environment where no drugs were required to feel the high.
The next night the band rejoined Paul Weller at The Fillmore. This was O’Brien’s chance to take the momentum from the previous evening and conquer a new fan base. Although the set was shorter, it delivered with the same intensity and the new crowd was captivated by the perfect harmonies the trio manifests.
Buy the bands latest album “DarlingArithmetic” out now on Domino Records.
Writing by: Emmanuel Castro
Photos: Victoria Smith (5 photos Swedish American/ 5 photos Fillmore)