Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Omeara, London, 15th February 2018

Largely due to the success of the crowd rousing (and Father Jack like) ‘S.O.B.’ their “gimme a drink” song, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats self titled debut LP sold over a million copies. They were catapulted from Colorado bars to this year’s upcoming Stateside tour of arenas and amphitheatres – The Greek, Red Rocks et al – and more locally soon, three nigh on sell out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire.

Tonight’s show (via the worthy Brit Awards/War Child exclusive gig series) at the intimate 350 capacity Omeara venue was a chance for the band to showcase and road test tracks from their forthcoming LP ‘Tearing At The Seams’ and a great opportunity to see them up close. Behind Ray-Bans and suitably tattoo adorned, the seven piece band, both physically & sonically, lean to the southern charms of Duane Allman. Waist coated and waxed bearded there’s more than a little of The Band too. Their opening song ‘Shoe Boot’ guitar riffed like the former while the Hammond and harmonies of ‘Hey Mama’ and ‘A Little Honey’ nodded graciously to the latter.  Nathaniel half jested to the crowd of already having lost his hearing, breakthrough artist he may be, but he turns 40 this year and carries a solo artist CV of ten years plus recording prior to the band’s 2016 success.

All horn section and soulful groans, new song ‘Babe I Know’ was drenched with the sounds of Stax, the very label to which they’re signed. The upbeat swing of ‘Intro’ grooves in a Van Morrison way – lazy journalism my constant comparisons may well be but they are meant with flattering intent. “I’m gonna leave it all out there to dry” is the chorus of lead out single ‘You Worry Me’ but it equally could be an on stage mission statement. They’re a loose yet pulsating, “heart on their sleeves” live band. Oh yeah, they played that drinking song too…

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