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Port St. Willow @ Kung Fu Necktie.

April 10, 2013

PortStWillow02Text and images by Grace Dickinson.

Port St. Willow played a soothing show to a small crowd of no more than 30 people at Kung Fu Necktie last night. The Brooklyn-based band is the project of Nick Principe, a multi-instrumentalist who released his first EP, Even // Wasteland, at the end of 2010.

Principe went on to produce Stay Even here in Philadelphia for Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through, a session that was curated by longtime friend Peter Silberman, frontman from The Antlers. Principe describes the single as a tribute to moving on from depression and not letting your thoughts overcome you.

His latest and first full-length album, Holiday, brings Port St. Willow on tour for a return trip to Philadelphia. The album’s heavy guitar reverb and ambient keyboard created a soft atmosphere not frequently present at KFN.

White noise of subdued synth and his tourmates vocals recurrently carried one song into the next. At these moments, there was a feeling as if you were laying face up in a pool of water, ears covered, relaxing into the muted sounds traveling through space.

Principe would then break through with his honest lyrics analyzing family and life, with his voice occasionally make it’s way into falsetto. A trombone player standing in the dark, right corner of the stage sparingly chimed in to add to the melancholy feel of many of the lines.

OurGriffins01Little was said throughout the night aside from a comment towards the beginning from Principe to remark about the beautiful night and the “killer performance” from his buddy Ben Seretan. Seretan was one of two openers along with Our Griffins (right). Other than that Principe closed the show with a quick thank you to the crowd for being so quiet and respectful throughout the performance. It left a warm impression for the audience emptying back onto the streets for one of the first balmy nights of the year.


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