By Gavin Owen
Entering a familiar venue to see a familiar name is always a tricky concept when going to a gig, in many ways you can become to familiar with an artist or a venue but I wasn’t going to let this sway me from enjoying what the nights proceedings had to offer. Paper Aeroplanes, I had not witnessed live in their current form and line up, but having witnessed them live under their previous alias Half-light and them leaving a lasting impression and having already owned most of their currently catalogue.
The idea of putting 2 of Wales’ premier artists on the same bill for a Welsh tour certainly isn’t a new concept but an unusual one but one
that paid off. Paper Aeroplanes are only playing as a duo this evening and not in their full band set up but this certainly doesn’t limit the band in anyway with acoustic and electric guitars being exchanged throughout the set the band play a good range of material from each of their releases including Same Mistakes which the band amusingly declare is their biggest selling song via I-tunes because it shared a title with One Direction and also Fable from recently released album Little Letters which saw the band receive an album after playing a set in Germany for the song to be used as the first dance at the a wedding, the title track and first single off the album Little Letters and My First Love from 2001’s We Are Ghosts all ranking as highlights in the set.
All in all they don’t much play a support slot to Martyn Joseph with their set consisting of an hours worth of material it feels very much like a headlining performance which serves as a perfect introduction to the evening and sets the bar and expectations for the rest of the evening very
high indeed. When Martyn Joseph takes to the stage to a warm reception and digs into his vast back catalogue with him declaring that even though he tours all over the world the beauty of playing in Wales is that he gets to play songs about his beloved homeland and songs that have become very solid stayers in his live set over the last 10 or so years songs like Dick Pendryn the Welsh martyr from the 19th century who was hanged for the murder of a solider during a miners uprising in Merthyr Tydfil or Cardiff Bay which tells of a father taking his son from Sunday school in a Welsh Chapel and taking him to Cardiff Bay but also acts a social commentary about the modernisation and transition of such a recognisable area of the
Welsh Capital, this doesn’t just limited Joseph to a mere Welsh social commentator though with tracks like Lonely Like America and Beyond Us with its biblical imagery and poetic lyrics really prove that Martyn Joseph can easily hold his own alongside a Bruce Coburn or Billy Bragg for lyrical imagery.
He even took time to speak of his exploits to Palestine, which goes to prove that not only does he sing and sing songs about the world around him but he isn’t afraid to actively get involved. He also took time out to pay tribute to one of his musical heroes and promote his new album Tires Rushing By In The Rain an album of Bruce Sprinsteen covers before going on to play The River and Thunder Road he closes proceedings with his anthem Proud Valley Boy all about the plight of the Welsh Mining industry and the encouragement of Paul Robeson sung with the same passion that would equal any Male Voice Choir he is joined in an encore by Paper Aeroplanes for their song Newport Beach all in all it was a very emotionally charged night be it for the poignant story telling, nostalgia or sheer raw emotion defiantly a gig to remember.