Review: Guillemots, at HMV Institute Library, Birmingham

A band with more talent in their little fingers than a whole complement of X Factor wannabes, Guillemots know how to put on a proper live show.

Their music switchbacks between music genres more times than you care to count – from the stomping foot tapper Criss Cross to the sweet acoustic solo of new song Seven Winds, it’s a double-edged sword perhaps.

Fans love the eclecticism, others may puzzle as to what kind of music Fyfe Dangerfield and chums make. And how many other artists come on to the strains of Ravel?

The crowd itself was eclectic; from white haired gents to teenage girls.

With little banter between songs (for which Fyfe jokingly apologised), the set sated all appetites as it jumped between their three albums – from old favourites like Annie Let’s Not Wait and final encore Sao Paolo from their debut, to Get Over It from 2008’s Red to a swathe of tracks from this year’s Walk The River – all ethereal and atmospheric with plenty of feedback, effects and a dash of theremin.

Guillemots almost disappoint when you hear the CDs – live is where they excel, and they clearly love it, especially bassist Aristazabal Hawkes (she’s the one without a beard), who regularly beamed a smile to audience and bandmates.

Most left the venue with one to match.