Live Review – Rai Kah Mercury @ The Sunflower Lounge
Rai Kah Mercury
The Sunflower Lounge
Review by Nikki de Ruijter
Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and John Mayer loved each other very much, they spent a magical evening together listening to Queens of the Stone Age and, somehow, worked out how to immaculately conceive a 19 year old grown man: Tomas Crean, the brains behind midlands four-piece Rai Kah Mercury.
The band walked unassumingly onto stage at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge on Saturday night (September 7th) juxtaposed to the crowd reaction – whooping, several “I love you’s”. Their headline show presented an absolutely impressive and confident display of sheer ability. Rai Kah steadily built a polished wall of sound in their opening song ‘Make Believe’, followed by ‘730’, everything about the tracks proves the passion behind creating them. Josh Lowe, drums, bounced off his seat with each hit to keep the band perfectly in time, at one point sending his cymbal crashing to the floor. Lowe moved seamlessly to collect it while Crean and Reece Shaefer, bassist, kept the audience in awe throughout the remainder of ‘730’. Lowe personifies the music’s adrenaline while also exuding complete control as he reattached the cymbal throughout the song with one hand, the other busy keeping a steady beat.
Their single, released earlier this year, ‘I Fell in Love with a Feeling’ came after a short introduction, the audience all too familiar with what to expect from the opening guitar licks, like signalling the tide to come in with an open sea of bopping heads and flailing arms pointing toward stage in appreciation.
The band then held the audience’s hands with ‘Constraints of Reality’ and ‘Slow Dance’ to lead them toward a stripped-back and open performance in ‘Dreamwork (Paper chained In Love)’. Crean put down the guitar to deliver the softer song, showing off his impressive range.
Nathan De Giorgi on the keys shone through here to be the only accompaniment to Creane’s tender, bluesy warble. De Giorgi linked many of the songs in the set by playing an eerie sounding few keys during the interludes; his impact not going unrecognised with many a “I love you, Nathan’s!” before the band introduced their new single ‘Road that Leads to Nowhere’.
“Has anyone heard our new single?”, the subsequent wooing and audience participation to their fresh new track provided a resounding “yes”. ‘Road that Leads to Nowhere’ is a sincere and heartfelt tune from Rai Kah. It’s a more folk-sounding addition from the band, reminiscent of an early Kurt Vile. Crean delivered every line so genuinely, with a chorus of crowd backup singers, it was clear their new single is eliciting the intended emotional response from listeners. Rai Kah Mercury are a fresh new force and definitely one to be watched.