Wild Son gave Bermuda an injection of folk rock at the Lemon Tree Café on Saturday, marking themselves down as a band to watch in the process.
Affable Bermudian bassist Aaron Desilva provided the local link — add in fiddle player Mitch Howanyk, drummer Cam Wilks and singer Kieran McCaffrey and you have a foursome whose depth of talent revealed itself the longer their three-part set went on.
After 26 dates in Canada, where the musicians studied and met, the band wandering on to the stage looking like a cross between Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes and, in Howanyk’s case — and even his band-mates poked fun at this — a dishevelled Ryan Gosling.
Wild Son performed at Lemon Tree on Saturday. *Photo by Zacchaues Rodwell
Opening up with two songs off their EP Franklyn Road plus new ones earmarked for a new album, which will be recorded in the Fall, Wild Son eased themselves in. Don’t Follow Me and Crystal Archives were highlights and showcased the band’s signature sound — that of Howanyk’s fiddle.
While performing their own music, Desilva, Wilks and McCaffrey — a cool, hippy of a frontman — were all assured but it was the weaving melodies and energy provided by Howanyk that gave the performance its rootsy appeal.
Midway through the second of their three sets, the band — and onlookers — ditched the shoe-gazing, saw off the black and cokes, and shifted gears.
A wide range of covers upped the party vibe and gave the band a chance to show off. They peaked with a reggae-infused version of The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, although their take on Daft Punk’s Around the World gave it a run for its money.
Little Lion Man (Mumford & Sons), Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5) and Rapper’s Delight (Sugarhill Gang) were all thrown into the mix, as was Electric Feel, where McCaffrey, bandana in effect, gave a near-perfect audition to replace Andrew VanWyngarden in MGMT.
Having explored an impressive array of pop tunes, they were done, imploring their new-found fans to join them at the after-party across the harbour. Keep an eye on these boys.