The Paper Kites

By Poppy Tohill

Artist:  The Paper Kites

Date / Venue:  Saturday May 24th, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

Five hundred fans lined the street waiting for the doors of Auckland's Kings Arms Tavern to swing open on Saturday night. As Melbourne indie folk band, The Paper Kites returned to our shores to perform a superb set to a very enthusiastic, grateful and sold out crowd of all ages.

Support act, Lydia Cole may be petite, but she oozed confidence, as her bubbly personality and striking vocals made everyone's heart melt as she performed a remarkable selection of songs from her debut album,‘Me & Moon.'

Luke Thompson's gentle voice also made for a great performance, with the definite highlight being the mesmerising and melodic duets between Cole and himself, as they paired up to perform a stunning version of ‘Water' and a new song which they announced they'd recently worked on together titled ‘Christine.'

The charming harmonies continued as The Paper Kites took to the stage with five instrument-swapping members, finely crafted layers of sound and clear, pure vocals from front man Sam Bentley intertwined with the sweet, smooth vocals of guitar and keyboard player Christina Lacy.

Opening their set with the relaxing guitar melodies and touch of harmonica of ‘I Done You So Wrong' from their latest album ‘States,' it soon became pretty obvious that the band were just as excited to be up on stage performing as were the fans who all watched and listened in awe.

Unlike the norm for gigs usually held at the Kings Arms venue, the calm and comfortable atmosphere created by the band and their music continued throughout the whole night until the concert drew to an end. With the chance of being able to hear a pin drop in the room at any moment proving incredibly likely.

Providing a set list that featured the perfect mixture of favourites from their two EP's ‘Woodland,' and‘Young North' along with numerous hits from their latest album. Tracks ‘Woodlands,' ‘Cold Kind Hand' which saw the band truly let rip with extraordinary guitar riffs, and foot thumping drum beats and ‘Bloom' which inspired a great amount of singing and whistling from the audience, all proving ultimate crowd favourites.

Along with the extraordinary guitar licks and riffs, there was no player of the match for this gig, as every member of the band excelled on stage with their given instruments, as well as the numerous swaps of guitars and instruments that continued throughout the night, showcasing each member's wide range of musical talent and ability.

Although surprised with the venue choice at first, the Kings Arms proved the perfect venue for the gig, evidently being big enough to squeeze the hundreds of fans in, but still small enough to retain intimacy amid the band and audience members.

Whether a fan of The Paper Kites music in general or not, it's definitely obvious they sure know how to rock a live performance, and I for one am already excited for their promised return soon.