Wyvern Lingo at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, 22nd March 2018
“Yes, I wanna give my love to you,” sings Caoimhe Barry on the lead single from Wyvern Lingo’s eponymous debut album and last song of tonight’s set I Love You, Sadie, but what’s really on offer this evening is a lesson in ‘owning it’ as the Bray trio showcase what a difference being totally sure of what you want to be can make.
Wyvern Lingo have been taking us to ‘Lingoland’ – as Karen Cowley quips halfway through the show – for a number of years now, however, it’s been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, as the complexities of being good at one thing but wanting to be another led to some indifferent results in recent times.
Despite uncertain reactions from some corners of the industry when the folk leanings disappeared, Wyvern Lingo powered on ahead knowing what they want to be and, as they exit stage right after an exhilarating set in London’s trendiest corner, a lot of us have been proved wrong.
Much like on their album, the band front-load their live show with singles, jumping straight into a couplet of Out Of My Hands and Maybe It’s In My Nature. It’s clear that being able to treat the band as a full-time job is paying off – with every aspect of the show, particularly the lighting, meticulously planned and executed.
Despite 20-odd songs in their back catalogue to choose from, there are four covers in tonight’s set – yet none feel out of place, with Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes and Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon particularly impressive.
However, it’s the tightness of the performance that truly sets it apart, with the trio seemingly performing as one, nailing every harmony in an unrelenting attack on both the senses (Beast At The Door accompanied by the creepiest cartoon you’ve ever seen) and the emotions (the incredible, primarily acapella Used, still unique in its ability to silence a room).
The latter forms the first act of a knockout encore, followed by the absolute bop that is Subside, which segues into a cover of Bruno Mars’ aptly-titled – given tonight’s performance – Finesse.
I Love You, Sadie closes the night in celebratory fashion, as the crowd holler back the hook and follow Caoimhe’s lead as she dances to the beat. Wyvern Lingo have poured everything they’ve got into getting to this point, and now, with their first headline UK tour under their belts, it’s finally paying off.