Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Fleet Foxes: Classic US band create a perfect harmony

Having finally got lucky with the weather, the Open House Festival climaxed with a storming set from Fleet Foxes.

As the sun set over the Royal Mail building, they took the stage with a baroque guitar intro before launching into Grown Ocean, one of the more accessible tracks from their new album Helplessness Blues.

First impression was of how big the sound was, thrashing semi-acoustic guitars mixed with those trademark harmonies, often to thrilling effect.

It's a tribute to the group that after a mere two albums they sound like a classic American band - with echoes of the Beach Boys' harmonies, Paul Simon's lyrical introspection, and even a touch of early REM.

Fleet Foxes fill a hole in US music vacant since the enforced demise of Nirvana, ticking the box that marries tradition with the simple matter of great tunes.

They have been criticised in the past for not being able to follow through live, but judging by this performance, they let the music do the talking.

MICHAEL CONAGHAN

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