Mostly Autumn

April 18, 2010 - W2, Den Bosch (NL)

A lot has been said and written about the departure of Heather Findlay from Mostly Autumn. Also about her replacement Olivia Sparnenn. We leave the past behind us and look to the present and the future of the band from now on. Because that’s all that matters at the moment.

The people of The Netherlands had 5 dates to choose from on which they could see how the band was doing at the moment. Also they had a chance to support them with Livvy as the leading lady. The closest venue for me to watch the band was in Den Bosch. The band started at the W2 with the usual opening tune Fading Colours. Well known to everybody who saw the band during their concerts last year in The Netherlands. At first the sound had to be adjusted to the venue. But as soon as that was taken care of  it became very clear that Olivia’s voice fitted perfectly to the music of Mostly Autumn. She even had been given a chance to give something of her own into the set. Two songs that were recorded for Breathing Space got a Mostly Autumn treatment. The first piece had the title Rain Song. The music and lyrics were written by Olivia. She had performed it several times with Chris Johnson when they were an acoustic support act for the band. This time the song got the whole band version. The second song was already a highlight when Breathing Space performed it during their Dutch concerts. Questioning Eyes is about the loss of Olivia’s father Howard Sparnenn and the events after his death. The guitar solo done by Bryan Josh was breathtaking and proved that the two pieces fitted perfectly to the music of Mostly Autumn. Perfect was also the nice instrumental guitar intro to Spirits Of Autumn Past Part 2 done by Liam Davison. One of the musical highlights during the first set for me was without any doubt the way they ended Simple Ways with a great climax. Most of all the final part with the excellent synthesizer solo done by Iain Jennings was very special.

Special was also the whole second set. This part of the show features as always the oldest material written by the band. For me it was almost one big highlight with songs such as Dark Before The Dawn, Last Bright Light, Half The Mountain and Evergreen. I did not expect the last song to be on the setlist because it has too much Heather influences. But this version with the new female lead singer almost made me forget how wonderful Heather did sing it in the past. Beautiful was also the song Dreaming, a song that I probably never heard during one of the band’s live shows. This song, taken from Heart Full Of Sky, was dedicated to 9/11. It started a bit simple musicwise but did grow to a very high level when it moved towards the end. The only low point in the second set was the song taken from Bryan’s Josh & Co project. The bluesy track Slow Down taken from Through These Eyes only became interesting when the keyboards joined in.
When the band returned for a final encore somebody from the crowd requested a certain song that could only be done by Heather herself. Bryan explained that Shrinking Violet was too personal to do. When Mr. Josh started to talk about volcano’s and tornado’s I shouted Mother Nature, because I did expect that he did mean that song. However the band intended to do a different tune, but Bryan didn’t mind to change the setlist for us. What more can you ask as a fan when they play your all time favourite Mostly Autumn song. It just shows that they do care about their audience. To me it was certainly the best ending of a performance that was most of all worth watching. One thing is clear. The future looks very bright for the band with this current line up. And if you ask me if I did miss Heather. Well, yes and no...

Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)


Set 1:
Fading Colours
Out Of The Green Sky
Caught In A Fold
Nowhere To Hide
Storms Over Still Water
Rain Song
Spirit Of Autumn Past Part 2
Simple Ways
Questioning Eyes

Set 2:
Dark Before The Dawn
Answer The Question
Last Bright Light
Slow Down
The Last Climb
Half The Mountain

Mother Nature

Pictures Mostly Autumn by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up:

(left to right)
Bryan Josh:
Electric guitar, lead & backing vocals
Andy Smith:
Gavin John Griffiths:
Olivia Sparnenn:
Acoustic guitar, percussion, lead & backing vocals
Anne-Marie Helder:
Keyboards, flute, acoustic guitar & backing vocals
Iain Jennings:
Liam Davison:
Backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitar

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