The Garage at Highbury Corner is one of those large black sheds which holds around 600 people and it was sold out on Tuesday night for Lukas Nelson’s first big headlining gig in the UK. Already making waves after backing Neil Young on several albums and tours, Lukas Nelson was one of the standout performers of C2C earlier this year, his appearances there winning him many new fans who turned out to watch him on a hot and sticky London summer night.
First up were The Americans, whose take on Americana was definitely on the rockier side with a traditional bass, rhythm, lead guitar trio backed with drums. They were enthusiastically received and set the mood for the first half of Lukas’ show with considerable panache.
Lukas’ band POTR (Promise of the Real) set the scene for him to come on stage as a delighted audience greeted him with exuberant affection. The first seven numbers were played loud and fast with Lukas on electric guitar dominating the sound with an exceptionally strong vocal. The mood then changed completely with the band leaving Lukas alone on stage with his acoustic for a middle section of numbers that came straight out of the Nelson family tradition. He manages to navigate the tricky path between his heritage and need to create his own sound with delicate aplomb. Stand out tracks were ‘Just Outside of Austin’ and ‘Forget About Georgia’ which he wrote because he was so fed up of singing a love song to ‘Georgia’ every night with his Dad, especially as his recently departed ex shared the same name. After the acoustic section POTR came back onstage and filled The Garage with four full on tracks that left everybody cheering wildly and hungry for more.
Lukas has the makings of a real star even without the Nelson name. As his Dad reaches 85, Lukas, more than any of his brothers and sisters, has stepped into the limelight and deservedly won huge admiration for his charm and having startlingly good looks doesn’t do him any harm.