Review: The Little Unsaid @ Lichfield Guildhall

With a sound that straddled the cultural gap between Folk and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music), the trio of The Little Unsaid played songs from their wide repertoire of original music when they appeared at Lichfield Guildhall.

The Little Unsaid. Pic: David Jones

The Little Unsaid. Pic: David Jones

The ensemble – led by keyboard player, guitar player and front man John Elliot and featuring Tim Heymerdinger on drums, vocals and percussion, and Maria Brachkova on vocals, keyboard, loops and samples – provided a full sound as backing to Elliot’s, high, androgynous and distinctive vocals.

With a vocal style that was reminiscent of Morrissey, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen and Sinead O’Connor, and musical accompaniments that ranged from dance rhythms, to classical nylon guitar, or neo-classical piano flourishes, there was something for music fans of all tastes.

The set list came mostly their most recent crowd-funded release, The Fisher King, but also included choice nuggets from Someone Else’s Lullabies and Electronic Sketches, while few newer pieces also got a live airing.

Close attention to detail was paid to each number, with the recorded elements being well integrated into the structure of the songs, while the live drums and drum machines syncopated well together, adding a deeper texture to such songs as In this House, with its plageant piano part, and driving rhythms, before A Fog Sick Monday Morning became a showcase for Elliot’s virtuoso acoustic guitar.

Songs such as Midnight on an Island mixed a strong narrative story, with some fine musicianship, before the second set saw the dramatic aspects of such songs as The Fisher King and Can We Hear it? showing the breadth and depth of Elliot’s song-writing craft, both musically and lyrically.

The encore was a work in progress, one of those songs that sounds both familiar and new.

If you like very strong musicianship, quality songs, thoughtful, genre spanning arrangements, and a strong stage presence, then The Little Unsaid could be the new group for you.