Celebrating their return after four long years, Australian indie folk band The Paper Kites went out of their way to create an intimate evening filled with emotional ballads and delicate guitar strums at London’s famous KOKO. Kicking the night off with the heartfelt ‘St Clarity’, the five-piece band instantly filled the sold-out room with their very own sense of calm and peace – something their extensive discography has made them famous for.
Jumping from one heartbreakingly beautiful song to the next, the band continued to invite support act Maro to the stage to perform the magical ‘Walk Above The City’ and ‘Nothing More Than That’ – the singer had actually just about an hour before mesmerized the crowd with her angelic vocals, setting just the right tone for what was to come. But it especially was the performances of popular hits like ‘Bloom’ and ‘Paint’ that truly let the concert shine in the most exquisite light, with the whole band huddled around one hypersensitive mic and singing in unison with only an acoustic guitar accompanying them to create the softest of harmonies.
Throughout the whole show, it was clear how proficient every member of the group truly was as they were constantly swapping instruments between themselves in-between breaks, while frontman Sam Bentley brought out his Australian charm and joked with the excited fans, always underlining their gratitude and love for the crowd and venue (which seemed to be an absolute favourite from the tour, as stated by the singer).
Still, the gig wasn’t just a sombre trail along but had a couple of electrifying pops of rhythms, with songs like ‘Featherstone’ and the closer ‘On The Train Ride Home’ picking up the pace ever so slightly and highlighting the meticulous production and lighting design, waves of pink and blues washing over the many floors of the venue.
By the end of it all, The Paper Kites had not only created a night that would be hard to forget but further cemented themselves as one of the most enthralling artists emerging out of the land down under. Leaving the crowd feeling like they had just been wrapped up in a blanket made up of warm sounds and sugary-sweet stories of love, the quintet’s return was one for the books, and it can only be hoped that we won’t have to wait for another four years for them to come back.
Written by Laura Weingrill // photography by Justyna Serafin