Well the misery didn’t last too long as this five piece launched into a country blues rock masterclass for the next two hours. I don’t know what their usual larger venue, ala the O2 from the night before, gigs are like but from what I’ve seen it’s probably a polished straight country affair. Tonight its five guys drinking, singing and playing good music to a warm and enthusiastic crowd.
Yes its country, but it’s so much more than that, its rock, its blues, its seventies Laurel Canyon Americana, it’s just bloody good. Critics often accuse new bands of lacking originality but I don’t have a real problem with bands wearing their influences on their sleeve as long as they can also put their own stamp on it and these guys do.
With just their debut album ‘On the Rocks’ to support the set is full of great covers taking in everyone from Petty’s ‘American Girl’ Springsteen’s ‘Tougher than the Rest’ and The Band’s ‘I Shall be Released’ amongst others. George Strait is name checked several times and his influence is noticeable on their original material. The album is well produced and polished and rather sedate but live they rip up that model, crank the guitars, set the paddles to 200 and shock the life out of the songs.
The band are clearly having a good time and the banter between songs is funny, engaging and self-deprecating. The small room and tiny stage really give the gig a perfect intimacy and in my opinion this is how music should be heard and seen. You are not just passively watching but hearing every note, feeling every beat, sweating every sweat and really being part of a collective experience which one lucky lady took further as she joined them on stage for a boogie.
The two hours passes by in a flash and highlights include their classic country riff ‘Drinkin Problem’. Are they the real deal? Are they authentic? Who knows but they are bloody good. Props to Omeara, my first time there and its great to see a new small London venue.
Catch them when they return later in the year in the grander surroundings of the Shepherds Bush Empire.
Till the next time keep on country rockin’ y’all