First a mention for the talented Danni Nichols who provided a perfect thirty minute opening set of smoky folky acoustic soul music that whetted the appetite before the main act.
Presley, formerly a third of the Pistol Annies is on a mission tonight. Berating the Nashville establishment (and let’s face it she’s not the only voice there, Isbell and Sturgill spring to mind) she delivers a perfect eighty minutes of heartfelt autobiographical story songs. Bemoaning the lack of female artists in the country charts this runs completely contrary to what is largely a golden age of talented female country artists like Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Margo Price, Nikki Lane and Courtney Marie Andrews to name a few. In an age when Florida Georgia Line are massive there truly is no justice in the world that these talented women are not getting airtime. Shame on you America.
Back to the show, with the set drawing from her two solo albums and a couple or so of Pistol songs she is witty, self-deprecating and funny between songs exchanging banter with the audience at every step. It creates a lovely familial environment for us to sit back (or stand), relax and feel genuinely part of the show. Given London audiences reputation for non-participation and indifference there was singing along to nearly every song much to Angaleena’s surprise and delight. We even provided some whistling backing at one stage but I’m not convinced our whistling was any better than she could have done.
Difficult to choose any highlights tonight but ‘Knocked up’ is a great crowd pleaser, the spitting feathers ‘Country’ and the deeply personal ‘Pain pills’ about her brother really do standout.
One of my favourite gigs of the year. Keep the faith Angaleena, even if Nashville doesn’t, we still love you but we won’t bless your heart.
Keep on country rockin’ y’all