Review: Nick Mulvey, Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

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It was a noisy crowd that greeted rising singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey to Portsmouth.

But the gifted guitarist silenced his audience in seconds with the introduction to gig-opener April.

As fingers flitted across strings, the atmosphere-building effect was like trickling water (or April rain) and had a sold-out Wedgewood Rooms enchanted.

In fact throughout the gig, the former hang player turned folky favourite seemed to have the audience in the palms of his talented hands.

Mulvey played the hang – a UFO like drum – with the Mercury-nominated Portico Quartet before going solo and releasing debut album First Mind.

He appeared at the Wedge with a band of three, including percussion featuring tambourine and wind chime bells (a far better use for them than annoying the neighbourhood when a breeze picks up).

The crowd was liberally-bearded but Mulvey is distinct from folk pop contemporaries with African rhythms and latin fingerpicking.

The gig focused on his album of catchy tracks and serene moments.

But live he quickened the pace of songs like First Mind and Nitrous.

The result was a foot-stomping finish as lively as the gig opener was tranquil.