View on Flickr. Photos by Sarah Louise Bennett.

First on tonight at the intimate Barfly is London-based Rob Lynch, a stalwart of this scene. Playing solo with his acoustic guitar, Rob personifies everything that is fun about the acoustic-punk scene in London. Despite the fact the crowd are still filing in, Rob produces an engaging and personal set, including ‘Medicine,’ written about music’s cathartic effect on him as well as ‘Whiskey.’ Closing with ‘My Friends and I,’ and assisted by members of The People, The Poet, it proves a memorable opening set. (3/5)

View on Flickr. Photos by Sarah Louise Bennett.

Up next are The People, The Poet (formerly Tiger Please) with their grand, pop-influenced sound. They may not thank me for the comparison but the folky tinges in their music coupled with the fact they all wear waistcoats brings to mind Mumford and Sons. However there is an earnestness and freshness about The People The Poet that is very much different to the drudgery of Mumford and Sons, as tracks like ‘The Trip’ demonstrate. They also embrace a different method of song-writing as they explain throughout the set they asked fans to send them stories and themes about which to write new songs that will appear on their forthcoming album. One of these, ‘I Will Be,’ about how fatherhood changes a person, was particularly memorable tonight and really felt like the band was channelling the spirit of their fans in a very positive way. (3/5)

View on Flickr. Photos by Sarah Louise Bennett.

Headliners Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun are one of the most hard-working and under-appreciated bands in the UK right now. They are one of Xtra Mile’s best kept secret but tonight the Barfly is packed out to enjoy their high-energy folk-punk set. They certainly do not disappoint. From the morosely titled but jauntily arranged ‘A Song About Death,’ right through to the closing notes of the resonant ‘England’s Dead,’ the crowd is highly entertained by a truly jovial performance. Even in more introspective moments like ‘Wishing Well,’ the band manages to keep the crowd intrigued. All in all, this was a confident performance from a band that just keeps getting better and better. There was a special atmosphere in the Barfly tonight as it really felt like everyone who was here had a genuine interest in not just the headline act, but all the bands on the bill and the scene in general. With that kind of support, there is no doubt that these kind of shows will flourish. (4/5)

Words by Tom White (@WhiteyWitters) and Photos by Sarah Louise Bennett.. 

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