Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Live Review: Marlon Williams, The Weather Station

14 May 2018 | 11:50 am | Craig English

"Williams and band deliver the sultry, ruminant 'Portrait Of A Man' whereupon he makes full use of his simply astonishing vocal range."

More Marlon Williams More Marlon Williams

It always takes great talent to fill the lofty and sonic expanses of Forum Theatre and Toronto's own The Weather Station prove to be the perfect fit to open this evening's proceedings. Fronted by Tamara Lindeman, the folk-rock four-piece bear the best hints of artists as varied as Joni Mitchell and The War On Drugs. Gorgeously paced Thirty rolls by with a catchy and upbeat acoustic melody while slower number If I've Been Fooled showcases a beautiful three-piece harmony that holds the room to attention. A worthy precursor to the main event, no doubt.

After having traipsed all over Europe and North America, Marlon Williams brings his Make Way For Love tour full circle and saunters out on stage to a hero's welcome by an already rapt audience. He keeps it cool to begin with, opening solo on his modest keyboard, but The Yarra Benders, joined this evening by The Drones' Dan Luscombe on guitar, soon grace us with their presence. Come To Me dreamily saunters by and bassist Ben Woolley offers gorgeous harmonic accompaniment to Williams' molasses-thick, soulful voice - all in the room are already swooning. The Fire Of Love gives multi-instrumentalist Dave Khan the chance to add subtle fills on theremin, while faster numbers like Party Boy see Williams making full use of the stage to dance and thrust his charms upon the masses. But the first great jaw-drop of the evening comes from the call-and-response harmonies and brooding pace of Can I Call You. Williams and his phenomenally talented band The Yarra Benders are in such impeccable form that they seem to operate as a single, smooth unit.

Things only get heavier and more full-bodied from here with Dark Child, during which Williams briefly leaves the stage to let the band build into a frenetic, prog-rock jam that dials the fever pitch to 11 and is met with screams and thunderous applause. But it's through Screamin' Jay Hawkins that Williams has the final word - the final wail. Williams and band deliver the sultry, ruminant Portrait Of A Man whereupon he makes full use of his simply astonishing vocal range. Thrashing around the stage to the oftentimes violent and dark rhythm of this cover with its jagged guitars sees Williams bring a howling vocal crescendo upon the house like a thousand town criers all announcing the end of the world at the same time. There's few who can compete with a voice and talent as marvellous as this.