The unpredictable and unhelpful British weather could not dampen our spirits at the LRB as we prepared for the totally predictable quality musical performances from tonight’s amazing artists.
THE LUCK, sibling duo Max and Esmay, on their very first LRB appearance certainly met high expectations and made a good few new friends tonight as they opened the show.
They have an incredible road in front of them supporting David Grey and Cockney Rebel amongst other highlights, but tonight they are all ours at the LRB.
True North opens, the title track from the TRUE NORTH EP.
There is something about sibling harmonies that makes them a joy to listen to, perhaps it’s genetic or the fact they have sung together most of their lives? What ever it is, we heard it right from the start and the applause acknowledge the fact which continued with Leave Your Light on, Track 3 from the HOMECOMING EP.
Esmay plays a Fender Mustang Bass Guitar which gives the sound a lovely warm tone complementing Max’s fine guitar playing, but, Wow! Those harmonies…
They tell us that they have been changing things around a bit recently. Changing keys to keep it all fresh before they play Sting a song written between London and San Francisco, after Esmay did get stung. That’s track 1 from the LIVE AT DAVE’S ROOM EP.
If this is love has had radio play on Chris Country and is the first single from the upcoming new album that will be worth putting on your wish list. Max tells us that this song is played in D,A,D,G,A,D, his favourite tuning. Guitarists in the room will know all about it.
Whilst said re-tuning was going on Esmay chastised Max in a way only a sister can for talking off mic. Apparently, being shy is no excuse for “The Singer in a band” Laughs…
We are invited to sing along now to a surprise song that Esmay is not allowed to announce but instead she offers the advice not to write your age down on things as you may wish to lie about it later… Laughs…
So now we are tuned a whole tone down for what is to be, after an adjustment of ‘Velocity of spirit’. Dreams, a CRANBERRIES song. Again beautiful sibling harmonies as Max clicked his fingers to the tempo.
A song for their mother next, Holding On Track 4 from LIVE AT DAVE’S ROOM.
Rise and Shine was written in Northern California and LA after their producer, Paul Broucek, dropped random instruments around to try out different sounds. The idea proved successful as the song wouldn’t have been written without it.
So Max, now on the piano, tells us about how he played the giant piano at Capitol Studio A in LA (used by Prince during the recording of Purple Rain) and suffered a crisis of confidence in his piano skills. He needn’t have though as he plays fine and what a beautiful performance this proved to be.
As we approach the close of this set Max tells us about how the USA, where they wrote a lot of their songs, is so big it can be overwhelming and there is nothing like coming home to the UK where we can always get a good cup of tea… Laughs
So we get to the song, and instruction on how to join in with, Take Me Home. Track 3 from the HOMECOMING EP.
An up-tempo Tequila moment now to finish off with Lion Heart and a last chance to sing along to the chorus and appreciate the gentle finish.
Esmay cheekily, and in apprehension of going over time, asks to add a last last song, but now we have Ready To Run, a song inspired by the music of the late great Tom Petty and the title song from the EP.
Max picks up the 12 string guitar to play for the first time live on this song, what a treat. The single is released on the 17th of May.
And so to the extra song that Stan requested. How could we say no?
A Rolling Stones cover they like to play, and as with all the best covers they have re arranged You Can’t Always Get What You Want to suit their own style.
This links nicely to my comment in March’s blog that we certainly can get what we want and what we need at the LRB with such fine artists gracing our stage, it’s a privilege we do not take lightly. The applause and standing ovation said it all. Thank you Esmay and Max Luck.
Time for the welcome food break and our apologies for squeezing past many of you with various instruments, amplifiers and stepladders as we really did need to clear the stage and set the lighting for the upcoming act. We hope we didn’t cause too many drink spills…
The food, as usual, hit the spot on such a night, warming us through nicely as only a good curry can do.
You have to feel for Lyn and Chris (that’s Chris A not Chris K!) in their battle to prepare for and serve us all in such conditions. They do such a great job along with the boys at The Little Rabbit Bar and Sally raffle who deserve our sincere gratitude. Congratulations to all who won the raffle, Lyn always ensures we have some great prizes on offer and the artists who kindly denote CDs.
And so we come to the main event of the evening. Hannah Aldridge with, all the way from North Wales, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band. A band that Hannah describes on her new live album LIVE IN BLACK AND WHITE as her favourite band to watch as they know each other so well and are so tight.
The GRRB opened alone to set the scene and catch our attention with songs mostly from their latest album TALL GRASS.
They stomped through I Got Room, The Pulse, Bright Lights and Dead Beats, Keep On, Don’t Believe In You From COSMIC COUNTRY BLUE and High Heel Blues, all back to back before inviting Hannah up to the stage. That caught her by surprise as she seemed happy to still be watching them play.
So this was the last night of the tour and Hannah opens with Razor Wire, such a great song from the album of the same name.
Now, unusually this early in the set for Hannah, she plays a Walt Aldridge song about the Civil War and how a soldier came home and tooled up to rob a Yankee Bank. This great song is not on any album yet which is another reason to go see Hannah live when ever you can. Incidentally, father Walt has written numerous songs including Number One hits and is an inductee to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The GRRB are now invited back on the stage as Hannah tells us that they were the first band she contacted to join her on the new Live Album, as she enjoys playing with them so much. One day’s rehearsal was all it took for this tour to begin.
Rails to Ride follows and its Track 7 on LIVE IN BLACK AND WHITE. An upbeat sing-along with plenty of acoustic guitar noodling to enjoy…
Hannah gives us a spoiler alert, “Zero love songs in this set” Laughs… as she launches into Ghost an ironic answer to an ex who asked her to write a song about him.
Hannah apologises in advance for something new, now in a 70’s rock vibe as she played her latest single No Heart Left Behind and then swaps guitar for Tambourine. There was no need to apologise at all for this, it’s another great song and good to see something new.
Hannah talks about her love for Rock and it’s influences including dark heavy rock. Especially the late Chris Cornell from American rock supergroup, AUDIOSLAVE which leads to this cover of Like A Stone from their self titled album from 2002. “Not because it’s better but because Its a great song and I like it”.
Born To Be Broken, The title track of Hannah’s first record that was never even released, is next. A song that was written about the blight of slavery and how this relates to the modern day. “It’s on the live album and being played now to give it a chance to fly”.
Ben Glover co wrote Babylon. “If I mess it up, that’s how it’s supposed to be” says Hannah… Laughs… before they played this great song.
We come to the last song and Hannah shouts out to the LRB team before calling Max and Esmay to the stage and then LRB regulars Stan & Alan (The Hat) for some backing vocals…
So this song is inspired by Birmingham Alabama and memories of terrible gigs there including the time a fan threw up over her. She had to write a song about it all.
“Tom on the Bass will lead the dancing”. Laughs… Burning Down Birmingham. This can be enjoyed again as the closing song on LIVE IN BLACK AND WHITE.
As they left the stage the audience wanted more and Hannah returned alone to play another request from Stan for some Jackson Browne. These Days Track 5 from his 1973 album FOR EVERYMAN.
You could cut the air with a knife at this point a beautiful Pin Drop moment before the GRRB came back for the last song of the tour, Don’t Be Afraid a song about saying goodbye.
Wow, that was another special night at the LRB for sure and we were all relieved the weather backed off enough to allow it all to happen. Great music is often born of adversity and it seems great gigs are too.