LIVE: Pinegrove @ The Lexington, London

By Ben Tipple

The chemistry between the six current members of Pinegrove is immediate, as they take to the stage at a sold out Lexington in north London. Knowing glances and subtle smiles are the physical embodiment of the collective’s musical synergy, one that allows for precision and poise but also generates an exceptional sense of improvisation. It’s a style clearly only achieved through considerable musical mastery, ever-present as they predominately play through cuts from their stunning ‘Cardinal’ LP.

Intrinsically led by Evan Hall, whose unassuming stature carries an incredible voice and guitar prowess, Pinegrove are fundamentally brilliant musicians. A lengthy new track provides opportunity to showcase their broad influences, the country sound that gently underpins much of their material pushed further to the forefront. The note-perfect vocals move aside for inspired instrumentals, comfortably sitting between the carefully calculated and the fluid. There’s a natural element to the whole performance, making complex compositions look and sound effortless.

Hall’s demeanour is equally as relaxed, despite seemingly battling the onset of a cold. He quips about forgotten equipment, about the transparency of error. Yet errors are non-existent as band members and audience alike lose themselves in the sound and the stories. The lyrics talk of much more complicated times. Pinegrove succeed in presenting anguish, heartbreak and isolation with a delicate ease, yet one that has to power to reduce audiences to tears.

As Hall, the only member of the collective to address the audience, jokes about unnecessary encores, the band take a moment before rounding off an evening of genuine musical beauty. More than promising musicians, Pinegrove deliver a smooth yet powerful sound, met by the Lexington’s hushed appreciation. Because bands of this quality deserve a sincere respect, and treat music exactly the same.