Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London
My love of last minute gigs is continuing and managing to pick up a front row ‘return’ on the day only added to my warm glow. I’d discovered Punch Brothers’ tight bluegrass/prog sound on a couple of compilations and in turn their last album, “Who’s feeling young now” and at just over £20 was worth a punt.
The evening started well with support, Sarah Jarosz who I hadn’t heard previously, holding the virtually full auditorium rapt with half an hour of beautiful, well-constructed songs from her cultured, lustrous voice, banjo and guitar.
I wasn’t sure how well American Folk would work in a large seated London venue, but the five piece Punch Brothers (Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Banjo, Violin) assisted by a noisy (in a good way), courteous and knowledgeable audience managed to manufacture a good lively atmosphere. The set mixed raucous with reflective and consisted of mainly songs from their last album and the imminent “The Phosphorescent Blues”, interspersed with covers by Josh and Tex Ritter, Gillian Welch and a reworking of Debussy’s Passepied amongst others. In all it was thoroughly enjoyable and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for their next visit.
Stand out songs: Movement & Location, Familiarity, Rye Whiskey
Lively, white, largely middle-aged
It made me think..
Keep checking venue websites for late returns. London doesn’t need to be expensive