London Highbury Union Chapel
A double bass, a French horn and a singer whose delivery and bone structure are already proven winners....
And not just any old band, either. Imagine the young Stone Roses infusing their laconic Manc cool into The Beta Band's meandering 21st-century folk. Then imagine it sounding more dishevelled and dewy fresh than that. The cherry on top, though, is singer Lee Gorton - a baby Ian Brown unburdened by his forebear's swagger and bluster, all boyish grin and self-deprecating asides.
And then there's the tunes. Still a little wispy on record - their imminent, eponymous seven-inch EP, to be precise - tonight, Alfie invest their ambling, pluri-instrumental songs with greater generosity. 'Sure And Simple Time' is lush with strings and brass, while 'Check The Weight' takes a skimpy, bittersweet theme and gently builds it into a baggy pastoral gambol.
And why hurry? There's no Next Big Thing whip chivying Alfie's every move, even though their talents would warrant it. There's just some mellow tunes here, a refreshing love of skewed melody there. Sometimes, that's what it's all about.
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