Despite admitting to picking up a guitar for the first time only a few years ago, Alan Pownall has still managed to position himself as one of the big names to watch out for this year. Although it always helps to count the likes of Noah And The Whale and Mumford And Sons as friends, in truth you still need a discernable amount of talent to get the kind of guest appearances he has been graced with. Already bagging support slots with Florence & The Machine, Paloma Faith and Angus & Julia Stone and now drawing to a close a week long double headline tour with Lissie, his natural aptitude for song writing and performing seems undisputable.
He kicks off with Take Me from his debut album True Love Stories, due for release in July. Instantly his sound brings to mind Jack Johnson but as the set progresses it becomes clear there is much more to his song writing than just catchy melodies with a bit of guitar strumming over the top. New single Colourful Day has far more depth and live it is full of an emotion only partially captured on the album version. Even as he covers The Strokes’ Someday there is a new dimension which seems to come from a stripped down understanding of the meaning in each lyric.
By now all comparisons seem a distant memory and as he brings Lissie out for a duet performance of the Stevie Nicks classic Stop Draggin My Heart it seems they each are working to cast off the shadow of association. Whichever goes on to more success or acclaim Alan Pownall proves tonight that his songs warrant some staying power. If this is the result of truthful and intelligent lyrics and a laid back acoustic style, maybe we should all pick up a guitar, speak what we feel and give it a go.