Show Review: Dan Mangan at the Wilmot Church

Photography by: Ross Kinney

By: Cedric Noel

It can sometimes be hard to replicate a stellar performance full of tension and melancholy when, like so many singer-songwriters these days have a stellar backing band. This is no exception for Dan Mangan who played last Saturday at the Wilmot Church. However accompanied by bass player John Walsh Mangan managed to make the 25 dollar ticket price well-worth the experience, maybe even better…

The night opened with the ambient sounds of the up and coming Paper Beat Scissors, the one man project of Burnley, England/Halifax, NS native Tim Crabtree. As the ruffle and bustle of murmurs from the crowd continued, Crabtree stepped onstage. He has always had a self-assured demeanour on stage but almost appeared slightly nervous, and off-kilter when stepping on stage. Along with the murmurs of the nearly packed Wilmot Church, those nerves appeared to all fade away by the start of his first song,. Standouts for the night were tracks from his recently released album such as Watch Me Go and Folds as well as the title track from his EP, Flicker. As the crowd grew more and more comfortable with Crabtree’s unique sound, it also began to love his banter as he made joke after joke. Crabtree ended is half-hour set with his LP’s single Rest Your Bones, and much to this disappointment of the audience his set was over, but they had so much more to look forward to.

Check out Crabtree’s self-titled debut LP Paper Beat Scissors below:

Dan Mangan has always had the reputation of being a solid crowd pleaser with his enthusiasm, charm and undeniable wit. These were more than well on display last Saturday. Even with his stellar reputation his performance’s have been largely considered sonically dynamic rather than intimate. That surely all changed for the audience at the Wilmot Church. Accompanied by his bass player Walsh the two worked in tandem to provide a truly unique and beautiful performance. Even though they were only two people the energy was still there. Highlights were hits such as Sold, Robots, the Indie Queens are Waiting and Road Regrets.

Mangan set was filled with everything it need to be; sadness, grief, melancholy, happiness and humour. He ended the night howling a haunting rendition of his song So Much For Everyone standing atop one of the church pews accompanied by Walsh on guitar and the audience singing back-up vocals . It left a chilling yet satisfied finale to the night.

Check out all things Mangan here.


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