Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, Monday 8 October 2012
A few years ago it would have been difficult to swing a Yankees baseball bat in Brooklyn without taking out a super-hip, skinny jean wearing, Ray Ban sporting member of the latest act set to roll off the NYC gravy train and straight into the Radar pages of NME. Most awarded the 'hottest thing right now' tag have since sunk without a trace. One band who could be set to buck the trend though is We Are Augustines.
With far more substance over style than your average NYC noisiks, WAA's potential owes more to their penchant for blockbusting anthems than hitching on to any transient scene of the moment. Led by the genial and charismatic Billy McCarthy, WAA arrive in Nottingham at the fag end of a 15-month tour to promote their slow-burning debut Rise Ye Sunken Ships. Brimming with the kind of full-blooded power soul which resonates best from across the Hudson in New Jersey, the record is brought thrillingly to life, Arcade Fire-like, in the live arena.
'Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love)' proves an early hit, with an impressively vocal crowd (for a Monday night) bellowing along with the chorus. The melodrama of 'East Los Angeles', a soaring 'Chapel Song' and a triumphant 'Headlong into the Abyss' all hit home with a punch too.
Scattering the set with a few new numbers is a risky tactic and they just about get away with it thanks to McCarthy's on stage banter and the superb musicianship of drummer Rob Allen and bassist Eric Sanderson (complete with impressive robotic dance moves on request). A closing, stripped-bare 'Philadephia' leaves things on a suitably communal note and most head into the chilly Monday night in heartier spirits than when they came in.