Gig Review | MF Tomlinson @ Sneaky Pete’s

“A big crescendo of noise”

Support: Adam Ross

Armed with only a guitar and beautifully clear vocals, singer-songwriter Adam Ross was first to take to the Sneaky Pete’s stage. Tales were told in his lyrics, as well as sometimes before a song, giving context and humour so the crowd felt involved in his set. Adam Ross looked like he belonged on stage, his experiences and stories portrayed in each track.

Picture-painting lyrics became entangled in amongst the intricately played, yet effortless looking, melodies. It was difficult not to get pulled into, and lost within Adam Ross’ set. Songs like latest track ‘Free Will‘ are calming yet each word is vocalised in a unique way that will further entice every listener. As well as working on a stellar solo-songwriting career, with a debut solo album on its way, Adam Ross also leads the 8-piece band Randolph’s Leap. This band played a part in Adam’s set as he performed a cover of the incredible song ‘Weatherman‘ from their 2014 album “Clumsy Knot“.

Overall, I saw the acoustic guitar and thought, oh no another generic acoustic set, but I became very intrigued and captivated as soon as he began to sing. I think the way he sang each track in his set is unique. He brought the crowd into his performance in a way I’ve rarely seen before. He is an artist I would absolutely catch live again, whether as a solo artist or in Randolph’s Leap.

Headline: MF Tomlinson

Australian born, and London based artist MF Tomlinson took to the stage and instantly began proving his musical talents to the audience. The thing about this gig in particular, was that he didn’t just play his songs to a live crowd, MF Tomlinson made this gig a theatrical and memorable performance. Taking a range of songs from his 2023 album “We Are Still Wild Horses” and 2021 album “Strange Time“, he created a setlist that allowed him and his band, the MF’s, to truly shine.

If I could describe his set in one word, it would be a “theatrical“. Each song told its own story but seamlessly jumping from one song to the next made it like one big scenario. There was a mesmerisingly melodic flow between each track that both allowed each song to receive individual appreciation and play its part in a bigger picture. However, while there was theatrical transportation through each track, it didn’t sound like one big song, which is a mistake some acts make.

Towards the end, there was a big crescendo of noise that involved all of MF Tomlinson’s band as well as him. While it was a large accumulation of instruments, it was still expertly curated and structured which was immensely impressive. By recording segments of drums and other instruments in advance, this afforded the group the opportunity to experiment without it sounding messy or shambolic. I’d love to catch MF Tomlinson live again, their set was incredible and I’m glad I went along.