Lead singer Winston Yellen, the creative force behind Night Beds, doesn’t take long to create a tension between himself and the Scala crowd. He gives off an aura of ‘laying it all out’ and no holes barred honesty. He gives us almost nothing in terms of between-song interaction, but instead spills himself in a soft wave of anguish and vocal introspection.
Night Beds fill the room with their atmospheric country. There aren’t many catchy riffs knocking about, but this is not what we are looking for. We are taken through a thick melodic plodding journey of lovers, drinking and vocal virtuosity. A whining slide guitar woozes through the set like a man unsteady after a night in a crossroads bar and simple but heavy beats sit alongside organ-like bass lines to carry the considerable weight of the emotional and sometimes desperate lead vocals.
Ramona was a joyous four minutes, and sent a ripple of movement through the adoring and concentrated crowd. More action came when the band stepped into the centre of the floor to play an acoustic song that had a touch of barbershop - such were the depth of the full-band vocal sections. “I think we had a moment right there” were the words shared before the band stepped back up to their normal places.
I don’t think there will be a person there that will leave the show feeling anything other than deeply satisfied. Their brilliant songs were given a colossal amount of space on stage and felt deeper than on record. We didn’t need any more from them, and the conversational distance made the spectacle more intense, and the experience more absorbing.