Having often relied on the appreciative howls of the audience to intertwine with the solitary sounds of his acoustic guitar, Iron & Wine's Sam Beam has added several other musicians to his arsenal for shows in the UK and Ireland. A brief set from Daniel Martin Moore, another constituent of Sub Pop's contemporary community, was well received, but his familiar blend of Kentucky infused folk only served to whet the appetite of those who were readying for the prospect of something different from the headline act. After taking to the stage - all facial hair and effortless calm - Beam and his band introduced a wonderfully impressive full sound, which does little to detract from the frontman's obvious talents with the guitar. The beauty of 'Boy With A Coin', with its undeniably catchy hook is quickly countered by the fragmented yet equally absorbing, 'Me And Lazurus'. During Beam's past performances, in which he placed exclusivity on his soft vocals and twanging strings, it would have been folly to envisage the 36-year-old's sound being bolstered by female backing vocals and.saxophone solos, but it works majestically here and, as mentioned, does little to deter from Beam's musicianship, nor his song writing ability.

Continue reading: Iron & Wine, Leeds Metropolitan University, 17th March 2011 Live Review