Scout Niblett, B.E. Godfrey and Elaine Greer at Mango's, 9/4/2013
When you see employees from local record stores in the crowd, it always seems like a reassuring nod that you're right where you should be. Needless to say, I was happy to see a few familiar faces when I headed down to Mango's Wednesday evening to catch Scout Niblett, who is touring all the way from England.
But before I could witness the beauty of Niblett live, I was first introduced to Austin-based singer-songwriter (and former Houstonian) Elaine Greer.
Greer, who is small in stature, opened her mouth and washed the room clean with vocals that could soothe a crying baby. But though it would be easy to compare her voice to someone else's, it would also be doing Greer a disservice.
Truthfully, Greer has a distinct ability to be both familiar and unique all at once. But while her effortless vocal capabilities deserve praise, it'd be a shame to overlook how skillfully she plucked at her guitar during her six-song set, including two tracks she debuted without a hitch.
Shortly after Greer's set, local act B.E. Godfrey took the stage. Because it's the solo project of listenlisten's Ben Godfrey, it's easy to see similarities in the two on album. In person, however, B.E. Godfrey feels a little more introverted, in the way only a solo project can feel.
Though Godfrey had the help of a three-piece backing band, he made Mango's feel as intimate as possible, and for a moment I'd almost forgotten that I was standing in a club best-known for hosting sweaty punk shows.
As B.E. Godfrey moved through songs "Into the Wild" and "Regret," a certain wisdom began to radiate through the speakers. Certainly it has much to do with Godfrey's voice, which is contemplative by nature. But with the help of the other musicians, he pushed forward with a quiet persistence that felt bigger than the moment.
The reality is that B.E. Godfrey is headed for bigger and better things, which became apparent after the group performed "Into the Abyss" off their upcoming EP. Now, what those bigger and better things are I don't know, but Godfrey has a way of writing songs that are relatable in the most human way, so I doubt it will be long.
Once B.E. Godfrey finished their eighth and final song, it almost felt as though it'd be impossible for Scout Niblett to outshine such strong opening acts. Then again, I'd never seen her live.
But just by standing there, Niblett made the opening acts a distant memory.
Review continues on the next page.