Smoke Fairies @ Dingwalls 21st September 2010

This was the third time I had seen Smoke Fairies play. I mainly purchased a ticket after seeing them at Rough Trade East. Once I was outside Dingwalls I sat and waited till when the doors opened. So at 7.30 people started to trickle in. There wasn’t as many people there by the time the first band were on. So I purchased a copy of the Ghosts LP by Smoke Fairies from the merch desk then went to the stage and waited for the first band to come on. This band was 4 piece Story Books. To be honest they didn’t really click for me. The style of the songs they sung were folkish and that was the theme running through the night. What I didn’t like was the fact there wasn’t as much banter. The fact the lead singer did not introduce the band at the very start did tarnish my experience of this band. So all in all Story Books were OK but not my cup of tea.

The second act showed promise this being a clean shaven Pete Roe. I have seen Pete quite a few times before and I really enjoy his acoustic/ folk music. The set mainly focused on the new EP Merry Go Round. Opening up the set was Bellina. This song is a nice song which has fantastic lyrics and a brilliant beat. The vocals were superb and Pete could easily sing without the aid of a microphone. Thinking about it he would be a good choice to do the bandstand busking. It is ashame that people at the back were talking because Pete is a true talent. Other songs sung on the night included Hoopla, Oh Susanne, the EP’s self titled track Merry Go Round and a personal favourite of mine Under The Apple Tree. Ending the fantastic 7 song set is Pete’s showpiece. This was The Devil’s Dancefloor. You can always tell what the last song will be

Ending the night was Smoke Fairies what attracted me to this gig was the fact there was a full band.  This set was a mixture of old and new songs. Both Katherine and Jess interacted with the crowd, there was also ramblings by Katherine which was kind of humourous. Well the set opened up with Erie Lackwanna. This was just Katherine and Jessica singing this song the rest of the band came on for the second song Fences. “You can all go home after this, sober” Jess said before playing the new single Hotel Room. They also told the crowd they should of really put the song as the set closer. Strange Moon Rising was up next and following on from this song was Summer Fades. “This next song [Summer Fades] is the first song off our album” “We’ve done a few of happy songs already” this song is slightly haunting and When You Grow Old follows on straight away with no gap. Living With Ghosts was then followed up by an explanation about Storm Song. “It’s about when you have the storm inside” still a nice song which showcased how brilliant the new album Through Low Lights And Trees is. One of my favourites Gas Town was next and following on was another newie Feeling Is Turning Blue. Before the song was played there was banter from Katherine about guitar pedals (hers is called FAB) and chickens (Katherine had a one eyed chicken called one eye). “Don’t Get Kath started about chickens” Jessica says. The song went down well with the crowd. The final two songs on the night were old ones these being Sunshine and Frozen Heart. Kath, Jess and the rest of the band go of stage only for the both of them to return a few seconds later. The start of the encore was River Song which is extremely haunting and is up there in my favourite Smoke Fairies songs. After the band return only for Jessica to say that they changed the set list. This was to be Troubles and I really enjoyed the lyrics of this song. The band then return for Devil In Mind which capped of a wonderful evening.


Erie Lackwanna
Hotel Room
Strange Moon Rising
Summer Fades
Living With Ghosts
Storm Song
Gas Town
Feeling Is Turning Blue
Frozen Heart

River Song
Devil In Mind

OVERALL: I really enjoyed this night and Smoke Fairies played for longer than I expected. The banter was full flowing and Katherine mentioned about having a shower and water coming down from the ceiling (Kath and Jess share a house and Jess sleeps downstairs so she also gets a shower) and there was a backdrop of images and one of them holding hands Jess jokingly said they strangled each other after. Well as for the support Pete Roe was perfect someone well worth checking out if you have not heard of him and Story Books whom I weren’t to sure about.


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