Reviewed By Roger Sharman
On a chilly Monday night in early March at The Lexington, one of my favourite venues in central London, I arrived early for the show. There was already an air of expectancy, in the bar, before the doors to the upstairs venue were opened.
As 7pm arrived I decided to head upstairs to take my spot. When I reached the top of the stairs, I was met by none other than Pat Reedy himself standing behind the merchandise desk. We exchanged pleasantries briefly before I was advised that I’d arrived little prematurely and that the doors weren’t actually open until 7:30pm, so myself and a couple who followed me up headed back down to the bar for a little more liquid refreshment.
A pint of Guinness later, the doors were open and I headed back into the venue. Opening up tonight was the wonderful and extremely kind, courteous and friendly, Pat Reedy. I’d heard a couple of the tracks from his 2017 release ‘Highway Bound’ that I really liked – ‘Rose’ and ‘Highway Bound’ but didn’t really know much else about him other than ‘Nashville Tennessee at 3am’. All three of those I have loved since first hearing them.
Running slightly late, due to a technical issue, Pat kicked off his set with ‘Same to You’. Which set the tone nicely for what was to come. Pat was in a talkative mood, and frequently entertained the crowd in between songs with little anecdotes from his days working in construction, and travelling from state to state working different jobs. That’s not to say that the songs weren’t entertaining, they were, and we spellbound by the performance.
Originally from New Orleans, we learned that Pat is now based out of Nashville, a city that he loves it seems.
Pat worked his way through songs from his albums ‘Highway Bound’ and ‘That’s All There Is (And There Ain’t No More). Including ‘Make it Home’, ‘Runnin’ Out of Reason’s’ and ‘Burgundy in the Rain’.
At this stage, Pat was a bit parched so sent a request out for some water, to quench his thirst before heading on with ‘That Was Then’ and ‘Conversation with Jesus’.
The crowd were enthralled and loving every second of Pat’s performance, his undoubted skills as a singer/songwriter and a mean guitarist to boot.
Four killer tracks were next up ‘If You Understand’, ‘That’s Alright’ and now what has become a favourite of mine the exquisite ‘Hold on To You’, and one that I mentioned earlier, ‘Rose’, which sounds even more beautiful acoustically than it does with a full band.
That left him time to go through four more tracks, one of which I can’t tell you the title of as he was playing some new tracks or at least tracks that were not on records yet. ‘Lonesome Hard Old Road’, ‘Should You Ever’ and ‘Rose’s Old Coat’ (?) finished off what was a truly awesome set from a very amiable and talented guy.
Pat is on a short tour of the UK, and has a couple more shows in London, one being with a full band, but not his band, The Long Time Goners, on March 13that What’s Cookin’ in Leytonstone.
Incidentally Pat has been nominated for Best Honky Tonk Male at 2019’s Ameripolitan Awards. Check out Pat’s Facebook page for more information on the tour and go check him out live, its well worth it, trust me!
Following a wonderful intro from her Band Sarah arrives on stage and announces herself with a bang and tells us to get Three Coffins ready to rapturous applause from the audience. it’s apparent from the off the undoubted talents of the band consisting of The Henchmen Jeff Meade on Lead & Pedal Steel guitar, The Sheriff Emma Goss on Double Bass, and last but certainly not least on Drums, The Freight Train, Frankie Riedel.
What’s was also apparent to me was the fact that it was a very visual experience, almost theatrical, evocative of the old spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, accompanied by the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone. Sarah and the band certainly look the part and they sound the part too.
The end of the track is met with hounds of approval and they head straight into one of my favourite tracks from Sarah’s debut album, ‘killing Fever’, ‘A Day Late and a Dollar Short’ the influences of Loretta Lynn, Nancy Sinatra, and Nikki Lane, immediately spring to mind.
Next up another wonderful upbeat song ‘Madame Moustache another of the standout tracks on the album in my opinion. Sarah’s vocals a truly warmed up now and you could hear the she is gorgeous velvet like, tone in her voice that makes me believe that she could sing, anything she wants be it Country and Western, Jazz or Rock and Roll and carry it off with consummate ease.
The album is split into two halves, the first half is Country the second, Western. The show followed along the same format, and this band made it look easy, even at this early stage I recall thinking that it’s pertinent to add that I thought I had favourites on the album, but actually they are all magnificent songs in their own right and I love them all. Additionally, all the songs of death and retribution are sung in such a happy fashion befitting of someone who has just inflicted revenge, on a cheating lover by poisoning them or by any means Her wit and sharp humour really prevail on ‘Better Never Than Late’ and ‘Now You Are Sleeping’, during which we are treated to the sight of Pat Reedy’s excellent footwork on the dancefloor.
‘You know You Lie’ which was recorded at the legendary Sun studios in Memphis, is a track not appearing on the album and that’s followed by. But hopefully will appear on a record in the future as it really has the crowd cheering.
‘Shoot, Luke or Give Up the Gun’ and the beautiful ‘Belle Starr’, which ended the Country portion of the show are followed by an absolutely storming version of the title track from the album, ‘killing Fever’. At this stage I was half expecting Clint Eastwood to step out the saloon, Cigar hanging out of the corner of his mouth, blow the nearest bad guy away (after all that’s what Sarah and this band had been doing all gig, blowing everyone away).
Not relenting for a second, next up comes ‘Hell at High Noon’ which goes down an absolute treat, especially with my Whisky!
Before the next song Sarah asked if anyone in the crowd can name a jail song recorded by a female artist and his stumps everyone. Can you? please let me know if you can! ‘County Jail’ is the title of it, it’s not on the album but it’s still a humdinger of a track.
A feature of ‘I Wish You Hell is the marching drum beat, coming from Frankie, & the awesome guitar playing of Jeff Meade, the Henchman.
This left us with one last track for the night, ‘Dig Yourself a Hole’, before which Sarah told the audience “I’m not going to make you beg for it, I’m just going to give you one more”. You can rest assured the crowd would have been begging for it.
In summary it was an incredible show, they are a wonderful band, very original in this day and age, especially for an English band, and as such we should recognise how precious they are, and cherish, and treat them like the national treasures that they are. You can do this by going out supporting them at their shows, buying the record buying the merchandise, and giving back to Sarah and the guys the love & affection that they clearly give to their fans.
Go and see for yourself, there is a coming up at Aces and Eights in early April, don’t take it from me find out for yourself.