On a freezing cold February night, a select few of the wiser souls in Sheffield made the decision to huddle into the cosy Washington pub. The reason was not for bevvys (with the exception of perhaps one particularly inebriated 40-something, who almost got chucked out for his forceful drunken banter!); not for the friendly atmosphere; not even for warmth and shelter. The congregation happened because we knew something magical was about to happen: Sheffield trio The Unfortunate Incident were to play an up close ‘n’ personal acoustic set for us to feast our ears on.
Support came in the form of local lads Gosper whose dreamy melodies and laid-back lull created such a chilled-out and summery feel that you almost forgot about the cold outside and instead found yourself on a sunny Californian beach for the duration of their set.
The mood changed when The Unfortunate Incident took to stage. Clearly intent on living up to their name, the theme for their set was a selection of – er, unfortunate incidents – embedded into music. Songs about smoking, child crime and alcoholism created a melancholy but certainly very moving atmosphere. The between-song banter from guitarist/ vocalist Russell Palmer and drummer Tom Wilks took the edge off such sullen songs and livened up the audience a bit.
Opening their set with a new song, the terrific threesome then went on to play ‘Cause & Effect’, followed by a select few from their début album ‘Build Your Own Ark‘ including the sorrowful ‘Surrounded’, before closing with a song that came with the warning: “danger – it’s new and it’s heavy!”
While it can’t be denied that the setlist had gaping holes in it, neglecting gems such as ‘Exact Recollections’, ‘Enjoy or Endure’ and ‘Alone’ (the last of which would have fitted in perfectly with the ‘sadness’ theme!), people leaving the pub that bitterly cold night left with huge smiles stamped across their faces. But then bear in mind the quality and talent of this band, and it is easy to understand why.
Check out the nifty gallery right here (now with more Sock Monkey paparazzi tomfoolery!):