Review: Beautiful Town Music

Eden Circle-min

Eden Circle performing their eclectic sound. Photo by Nick Watts.

On one night every month, the Gulbenkian hosts a night showcasing some of the most promising local artists through Beautiful Town Music. This time, Jake West, Eden Circle and Orfila took to the stage.


Jake West

Jake West expertly provided his stripped-back, ambient, acoustic music with the help of celloist, pianist and girlfriend Eleonora. The simplistic instrumentation only further emphasised the quality of his songwriting, and their harmonies mixed with the chilling hum of Eleonora’s cello set an intense, dreamy atmosphere. For a university undergraduate, West finds a surprising amount of time to record and publicise his music, with two EPs already released (Before The Storm and Lost And Found) and a string of live performances, which he says is made much easier by the portable set-up he carries. His newest lead single Beat Me Down is just one example of how layered his music can sound despite having minimal instruments, which must take a lot of time to perfect. His metaphorical, contemplative lyrics mirror that of a musician with many more years of experience, and prove that he has the capability to support other incredible artists within the genre, such as Ben Howard or Hozier.

Eden Circle

What impressed me most about this Canterbury-based quintet was how technically skilled the whole band were. From the intricate, unique fingerpicking of the acoustic guitarist to the faultless multi-instrumentalism from the celloist/keyboardist, each member definitely knew how to create an awesome atmosphere. This made for an exquisitely textured sound, with the instruments blending perfectly together in a way that any Tame Impala or Bombay Bicycle Club track would. They also proved that they could showcase a variety of moods, which was seen in their second song as it slowly climbed higher and higher in intensity to reach a thrilling climax, and with their song Neverman, which showed their funky side and complimented the lead singer’s fantastic vocals. For a band that only formed in early 2015, they seem to have developed a sound that seems very well-rehearsed, which only makes their prospects for the future seem even more promising. The national indie rock scene will soon have one more addition. Watch out for their new single Follow The Road, which is being released soon.


Orfila showcasing their country pop vibes. Photo by Nick Watts.


The headliner of this month’s Beautiful Town Music was the folk/country pop trio of siblings Orfila. After opening the main stage at the 2014 Gibraltar Music Festival, it was nice to see that the Folkestone-based group could still adapt their performance to fit a much smaller audience. Out of the three acts, Orfila displayed the least amount of complexity in their songwriting and instrumentation, opting for a simple, easy style. However, they made up for this through their absolutely incredible harmonies and their involvement with the audience, the latter being something that was somewhat lacking with the two acts before them. They covered recognisable songs (such as The Lumineers’ Ho Hey), and got the audience tapping their feet to every song, which is all that was needed to raise the overall engagement. With a debut album released last year and a history of respectable performances, it is clear that the Orfila siblings are definitely enjoying what they’re doing, and if they keep their live engagement up, they are destined to go further.

Overall the night was very enjoyable, and it was a pleasure to get the opportunity to see acts that can only go up from here. I look forward to following these names as they continue to grace the local music scene and eventually climb up the ranks to reach a much bigger audience. Beautiful Town Music is a great way to catch artists with bags of potential before they make it onto the big stage, so if you want to do the same, make sure you attend their next event on Friday 19th June. Tickets are £6, or £5 for students.


No comments.

Leave a Reply

© 2007 inQuire | Terms and Conditions | Privacy | Designed by Move Ahead Design