This was Green Seagull’s biggest gig so far and they rose to the challenge well. Packing 12 original songs into just over half an hour, at the end of their set they received loud applause from the audience of around 300, most of whom were no doubt there to see headliners Wolf People. Comprising Paul Nelson (ex-New Electric Ride) on guitar, Paul Milne (ex-Hidden Masters and also the Magnetic Mind) on bass, Sarah Gonputh on keyboards and Elian Dalmasso on drums, they’ve clearly been rehearsing a lot as their music was very tight and their three-part harmonies with shades of madrigals and classic 60s band The Association were really impressive.
They first got together in early 2016 and have so far released two singles, ‘Scarlet’ b/w ’They Just Don’t Know’ and ‘(I Used To Dream In) Black and White’ b/w ‘Not Like You and Me’, all of which were featured at 229. They also played most of the tracks from their debut album ‘Scarlet Fever’, which is going to be released very soon.
Jangly 12-string guitar, quite frequent tempo changes and tight bridges of bass and drums are features of their music, in addition to the strong harmonies. The two Pauls and Sarah swapped lead vocals as well as sharing harmonies, providing a rich vocal mix. For the last three songs, Paul N niftily swapped his Rickenbacker for a Baldwin as Sarah provided a keyboard fill. She certainly got a range of beautiful sounds from her keys, at times sounding like a harpsichord and at others rather churchy. Paul M’s bass-lines were inventive and by no means just copied the lead guitar, while Elian on drums held it all together well. Their sound is very reminiscent of mid-60s bands like Love, The Seeds and The Mamas and The Papas. With Sarah’s flares and Paul N’s psychedelic tie, there were also sartorial echoes of the 60s, in addition to the musical ones. They didn’t talk much to the audience, but neither did Miles Davis.
They have another London gig at the Victoria in Dalston on 15th February – it’s a must-see if you enjoy the spirit of the mid-60s reinterpreted in catchy original songs. Eliphant and The Snides are also on the bill, and it’s free!
Wolf People were an unknown quantity to me, but their delicate guitar interplay, especially when they were joined by Reine Fiske from the band Dungen from their third song onwards, was mesmeric and rather reminiscent of the Allman Brothers at their best. Reine also contributed keyboards to some songs. Jack Sharp’s vocals were rather delicate and plaintive, but at times were lost in the mix. He joked at one point, “We can only afford one set- ist.” They played a couple of covers as well as their originals and performed for well over an hour, including one encore, and went down very well. They’ve already released four albums and Jack mentioned that they’d started writing a new one.
Ian Mole is a teacher of English to overseas students and a walking tour guide in London, specializing in music-related tours.