Playing out the last leg of a yearlong tour, the relentless Isle of Wight singer-songwriter The Lion and the Wolf (the stage moniker of Thomas George) brings his penultimate show to Brighton venue The Quadrant.
As we rifle through his debut-album, Symptoms, and miscellaneous recordings, we have to admit, it’s looking promising. George delivers myriad sounds on his first self-released full-length (on DIY label Courage and Stone Records), from the lingering melancholic echoes of Ghosts On Trinity to the upbeat, developed trills heard in the brilliant song, Colour. This wholesome variety has already earned him glowing reviews globally, and a spot across many end of year lists – not bad for a guy that quit his day job only a year ago.
With a lo-fi folk sound throughout, the original bedroom recordings of The Lion and the Wolf’s back-catalogue have been effortlessly brought to life with richer, warmer instrumentation, forgoing digital plugins for a raw and powerful combination that stay true to George’s beginnings and DIY ethic. We’d liken him to Dallas Green’s City and Colour, and would hazard a guess at the post-hardcore themes echoing in his alias (“The Lion and the Wolf” being the name of a evocative piano-led anomaly by the band Thrice). Flowing lyrics are eloquent as dreamy, insightful thoughts of everyday situations, and share a likeness with the softer hums of The Shins and Joshua Radin – we’re particularly looking forward to Hand of Applause, Every Little Things She Does and Perfect Threes – while his self-titled track, The Lion and The Wolf, reminds us of Cat Stevens’ Wild World.
These dejected, yet hopeful, vocals and pared-back melodies contain all the makings for an excellent live show, and if past dates are anything to go by, his presence will also deliver in buckets. Don’t be surprised if George steps away from the mic (though an encore at the end of the show is certainly inevitable) – he’s known for taking his dynamic vocals and guitar to play amongst the crowd itself, which feels much more like a personal serenade to the audience.
The Lion and the Wolf arrives in Brighton, playing The Quadrant on the 17th of July.
By Nammie Matthews