Flyte – O2 Institute, Birmingham – 14/11/17

WORDS: JORDAN COPE // PHOTOS: PERRY LEACH

A playlist of 60’s songs such as ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ create calm amongst the audience – many who have made the effort to get here early. Flyte are here tonight in Birmingham as supports for The Lemon Twigs, fresh from releasing their debut album The Loved Ones, and their huge backdrop fills the stage of one of the largest venues than we’ve seen the London quartet play.

The sound of synths welcome Flyte to the stage, seamlessly blending into opener ‘Victoria Falls’, its catchy refrain and tight musicianship introducing to the crowd what Flyte are all about. Although tonight’s not as polished as we’ve seen before, the experienced quartet don’t let it phase them.

To a much receptive audience, they launch straight into ‘Sliding Doors’ – a track anchored by a steady bass/drum groove and simple synth notes, before the chorus opens up to offer a dreamy falling melody. Frontman Will Taylor stops briefly in the pause before the middle 8, almost put there in the track intentionally, to greet the Birmingham audience and ask how they’re doing.

Addressing the huge banner behind as the “ludicrous big communist red thing”, Taylor immediately wins over the attentive audience with his warm character. “Could you us sound lost at sea, to make us appeaer more talented?” he quips, before breaking into “Orphans Of The Storm”. A little quainter than its previous numbers, the track offers Flyte the first chance to show off their angelic choral harmonies.

“We’re gonna sing a song without any instruments, ’cause it’s easier like that” laughs Taylor, introducing Flyte’s cover of Alvvays’ ‘Marry Me, Archie’. The four form a vocal arrangement that could silence the harshest of music critics, win over any doubting members of the audience – and show off their musicianship by creatively arranging an already popular song into something completely new.

After a great reception, Flyte kick into ‘Spiral” – a dreamy track that wouldn’t be out of on an M&S advert. Taylor shares that he thought he’d played the venue recently, before being corrected that it was another venue also sponsored by O2. Tongue-in-cheek, Taylor wittily responds with “They own everything – fuck them guys!” before apologising with a “…..sorry O2”, just in case any fans were in doubt he was joking. Continuing to build a bond, he thanks the crowd, noting how “crowds for support acts can often just be standing at the bar talking” – wittily adding “not that that’s giving you license to do that…”

As the set draws nearer a close, Flyte start their last song and recent single ‘Faithless’. Probably the quartet’s most commercial sounding song to date, its vocal harmonies can be found supporting a strong melody, before culminating in a powerful chorus later that later becomes the outro.

Despite their van breaking down the night before, Flyte hopefully felt that their long trip to the gig was worthwhile – because after announcing that they’ll be back in January, the mass audience cheers show that Birmingham are more than excited to catch them again.

‘THE LOVED ONES’ IS OUT NOW VIA ISLAND RECORDS:

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