Guillemots tour opener in Southsea

Guillemots
Guillemots
The Southsea Alternative Choir  Picture: Paul Windsor

REVIEW: The Southsea Alternative Choir The Southsea Cafe

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Following the release of their critically acclaimed third album in April, Guillemots are taking their captivating live show on a 16-date tour that starts in Portsmouth this weekend.

Titled Walk The River, the new album follows the band’s 2006 Mercury Music Prize nominated debut, Through the Windowpane, and their 2008 release Red, which reached number nine in the UK album chart.

Last year, frontman Fyfe Dangerfield released a gold-selling solo debut, Fly Yellow Moon, which included a heartbreaking rendition of Billy Joel’s 1977 single She’s Always A Woman.

The band recorded Walk the River at Bryn Derwen Studios, a converted country manor in the mountains of North Wales.

‘The songs had to sound as if they were being heard through the night sky, sleepwalking their way onto tape,’ explains Fyfe.

‘But they also needed to survive on a piano or acoustic guitar, and still grip you, still have a rawness and directness that would move you without relying on the arrangements. So it was all about trying to attain this wonky balance of sharpness and blurriness.

‘We wanted to make a record that would completely surround you as you listened to it, fill you with warmth,’ he continues.

A highlight of this weekend’s show is guaranteed to be the ethereal new single I Don’t Feel Amazing Now, which came out on Sunday.

Produced by Dave Kosten (Bat for Lashes, Everything Everything), this bleak but beautiful song of loss and longing must be one of the most moving things recorded by Guillemots to date.

Support at the tour opener at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea on Sunday comes from Tanya Auclair.

Tickets cost £15 from (023) 9286 3911, wedegwood-rooms.co.uk or on the door from 8pm.