Gig Review: Picnic's 'Nothing to Write Home About' EP Launch Party
Sunderland have treated us to many exciting and varied new acts recently, and indie-folk powerhouse Picnic is surely one such prime example.
Following on from their first EP released in early 2016, the seven-piece band have worked hard over the last few months to finally release their brand new 8 track EP 'Nothing To Write Home About' on September the 11th.
To celebrate the occasion, the band organised a launch party gig at Newcastle’s O2 Academy2; a venue which, despite not being situated in their own hometown, signifies a great achievement for many emerging bands.
Picnic’s loyal following certainly came out in full force as the venue was bustling with family, friends and fans alike by the time I arrived. But then, a little help may have also come from the three equally talented supports bands on the line up: Post Rome, St Buryan and Peace Frog, all of which are quickly making a name in their own right on the local music scene.
With a band the size of Picnics, the stage quickly filled to capacity as all seven band members took to the stage. With just enough room for lead singer Robyn to shimmy and dance, the band opened their set with their current single (and also my favourite track of theirs): 'Bill You Murray Me?' A satisfying feel good song that instantly set the mood for the night ahead.
Following on with another new track, the gorgeous asian-pop-fusion 'Madam Butterfly', it would quickly have become clear to any new discoverer of Picnic (like myself!) that besides the bands ability to write quirky pop tunes with a bluesy touch, its Robyn's stunning vocals and her captivating; almost orchestral, onstage presence that make this band so loveable.
Her adorable dance moves certainly had me captivated, and possibly somewhat envious, but that obviously didn’t stop me joining in.
The remainder of the set included a well balanced mix of old and new songs, including the first single from the new EP, and crowd favourite, 'Julia'. This is a tune with a really sweet and catchy pop sound but it’s well worth listening closely as this song about adoring obsession has some of the wackiest lyrics from start to end: “I'll feed you champagne through a tube, I'll exercise only in the nude”. Well, why wouldn't you!
Some of the slower numbers provided a lovely contrast to the high energy ones and really showed off the band's versatility as a whole. A little rendition of 'Happy Birthday' for two birthday girls in the crowd added another really personal touch. But of course the only way to end such a special night is on a high with Picnic’s most iconic track: 'I Ain't Got No Money'. Familiar with the song or not, everyone in the O2 Academy was proudly singing along in equal appreciation of it's infectious chorus.
It's safe to say that it's really been a night worth writing home about thanks to the fantastic fun-filled sound of Picnic and the lush atmosphere in the venue as a whole.
'Nothing To Write Home About' is available for free on Bandcamp or listen on all other media streaming sites.