Live Reviews: Peter and the Wolf

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The Independent Culture

Liverpool trio Peter and the Wolf were taken on by Elbow's Guy Garvey and I Am Kloot's Peter Jobson's own Skinny Dog label who released their debut mini-album Storyteller last December. With BBC 6Music and XFM sessions to follow, they built up a devoted following in their local Merseyside. It may be a Tuesday night, but it looks like the fanbase is filtering down south.

The trio are arresting from the start: drummer Donna Dosanjh stands as she strikes her impressively creative and off-kilter beats, surrounded by tambourines and cymbals, while double-bassist Hugo Harrison plucks out the jazzy basslines to singer Marc Sunderland's folk-blues guitar.

Some songs amble along pleasantly, while others are magical, combining hearty melodic pop hooks and energetic rhythm. In "Moon to The Sea", early in their set, Dosanjh's galloping drum beats and Sunderland's jaunty rhythmic guitar-playing drive the pair's glorious vocal harmonies, recalling the musical exuberance of The Bees. "White Noise" is just as catchy, its zany rhythmic guitar riff nodding to their Liverpool predecessors The Zutons.

The sweet melody of "Working Away" is transformed into an energy-fuelled pop song. It's the way they blend the fragility of folk with hearty pop riffs that so characterises the infectiously whimsical nature of their music.