The Gaslight Anthem - Nottingham Rock City - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Gaslight Anthem - Nottingham Rock City

by Ross Timms Rating: Release Date:

It must be either very unnerving or an absolute honour for The Gaslight Anthem to be on tour with one of their idols. To have Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan as their direct support must no doubt be a very strange scenario for them. They might as well have Bouncing Souls and Bruce Springsteen opening the show. Unfortunately we have to settle for Sharks.

To be fair to them they did well to get the crowd warm but did little to ignite them into any sort of frenzy. I've heard them in an interview say that they don't like any modern music, so it's surprising that they sound so much like anything and everything out there at the moment. Either way they do a job.

I don't think there's ever been a wider audience demographic at a gig than in Rock City tonight. Mums and dads stand with their kids on their shoulders while the teenagers intermingle with the OAPs propping up the bar. It's a humbling, yet rather bizarre site to say the least. Chuck Ragan finally appears. Accompanied only by a solitary violinist, his horse voice and soothing harmonica are all the audience needs to get lost in all that is Chuck.

His arsenal includes classics 'Rotterdam', 'It's What You Will' and 'The Boat', as he delivers some of the most powerfully heart-warming vocal performances I've heard in many a year. Unfortunately no audience requests were taken. A cheeky stripped down version of Hot Water Music's 'Trusty Chords' I'm sure would have gone down well with many a punter.

Gaslight really did go all out tonight. 'The Spirit of Jazz' and 'Boxer' set the tone for their set with crowd participation like nothing I expected from the crowd of oldies. In between songs Brian Fallon talks so easily with the expanse of people in front of him as if they're his best mates. Telling the usual tales of New Jersey, even with all the stardom that has befallen them with their last two albums, Fallon is still perhaps the most endearing and humble man in rock. Covers mix intravenously into their set with Pearl Jam's 'Last Kiss' and even a snippet of Van Morrison's 'Brown Eyed Girl' getting a look in.

'Great Expectations' and the '59 Sound' emit their usual raptures but it's the penultimate song 'Miles Davis and the Cool' that steals the show as Fallon's spine-tingling vocals are left embedded in everyone's ears as they filter out of Rock City, some obviously more slowly than others. I expect the absence of a chair-lift for the pensioners was the only explanation for the hold up.

Ross Timms

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