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The Ironworks, Oswestry, 30 March 2011
There was a
time when music was consumed on a hi-fi, on the couch, big speakers,
lights dimmed. Well this intimate gig at The Ironworks was almost like
the modern equivalent: candle-lit, leather couches, and with a band
reproducing accurately their recorded work.
favourites Larkin Poe
played a small showcase gig in London last October and are now embarking
on their first UK tour which takes them from Sussex to Scotland;
hopefully some of the venues will be just as intimate and welcoming.
Lovell sisters Rebecca and Megan broke away from big sis Jessica, with
their own eclectic blend of Americana, bluegrass and soft rock. In
another age, photogenic and musically interesting, they may have been
signed to Reprise.
already received plaudits from the critics and older musicians who know
a thing or two about a good song and holding an audience, notably Elvis
Costello. And there's no doubt that this grass roots haul of UK venues
will help them bolster their growing following.
have released four exquisite EPs themed and fired by the seasons, and they played a fair selection of tracks tonight,
demonstrating their intriguing blend of musical styles.
Whilst it is
easy to detect their bluegrass/country roots, there is a lot more going
on in the mix, sometimes a darker edge that's perhaps striking for girls
of barely twenty one summers and seemingly untainted by life's struggles.
And this is perhaps the striking thing: a surprising musical maturity in
what is a well-populated and well-aged genre.
If there is
one criticism - and this is personal taste and preference but could be a
factor in more wider acceptance for the girls - there is a lack of very
immediate, dare I say, more commercial tunes for true crossover appeal.
Part of this also rests with the delicate and respectful production
values on those EPs but, who knows, maybe Rick Rubin would make a fist
of it anyway.
listeners this may only add to the appeal (this one included), but it
almost seems like Larkin Poe are twenty years older and playing like
they've already had the "hits".
have been nice to have heard, for example, 'Cure For The Common Cold'
and 'Horseshoes And Hand Grenades', two of the more accessible tracks
off the latest EPs and two songs that are more likely to catch the ear
and the wallet of the casual lounge lizard. Intriguingly two other
superb songs 'Burglary' and 'Just In Case' were crossed off the set list
tonight. I'm sure they'll appear later.
'Principle Of Silver Lining', 'Enough For You' and 'Spooked' push the
boundaries of bluegrass and rock and the band's great musicality shines
through and maintains quality control throughout. So an encore of
Hendrix's 'Bleeding Heart' was perfectly executed and allowed the band a
little more space to rock out.
If you are a
rock fan, Larkin Poe are probably best construed as a guilty pleasure.
But if that is you, do spread the word.
Long Hard Fall/In My Time Of Dying/ Teardrop/ We Intertwine/ The
Principle Of Silver Lining/Praying For The Bell/ I Belong To Love/ Trance/ Enough For You/
Sea Song/ Shadows Of Ourselves/ Word From The Wise/ Spooked/ My Home/ Bleeding Heart
by David Randall
Photos by Noel Buckley
Launch Photo Gallery
Larkin Poe are featured regularly in our singer-songwriter sequence on
to ROCK! Radio (Mon-Fri, 14-00-16:00 GMT+1)
Podcast (Includes the interview first broadcast on Sunday 3 April
and exclusive live tracks)
Larkin Poe play UK dates March/April 2011
March 30, 2011 The Iron Works Oswestry
March 31, 2011 Live @ The Institute Kelvedon
April 1, 2011 The Elephant & Castle Lewes
April 2, 2011 The Slaughtered Lamb London
April 3, 2011 Acoustic Roots Festival Barnsley
April 4, 2011 The Wheel House Barnsley
April 5, 2011 Swindon Arts Centre Wiltshire
April 6, 2011 Chapel Arts Centre Bath
April 7, 2011 The Ferry Glasgow
April 8, 2011 Gateshead Central Tyne & Wear
April 9, 2011 Eden Court Theatre Inverness
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