Review and live photos by Chaz Brooks
“My name is Gill Landry and I come from the United States. I used to be proud to say that.” Landry joins the long list of American musicians with less than complimentary comments on Donald Trump, his not fit for publication.
Playing a solo set with his semi acoustic guitar in support of his friend and label stablemate Ian Felice, Landry began with two tracks from his latest album Love Rides A Dark Horse – Denver Girls and The Woman You Are that “I wrote for Adele but she wasn’t interested. It’s about the stampede of mediocrity and the woman who gets me through it.”
Piety & Desire, about a couple of New Orleans buskers show the connection between the acts as the Felice Brothers played on Landry’s 2011 recording of the track. He continued with Waiting For Your Love and Just Like You.
After a request from a lady in the audience, Landry dryly acknowledged “I don’t get requests very often so I’m going to take it” and finished with Bad Love.
Ian Felice strolled onto the stage a disheveled lanky figure, with battered guitar and tattered work boots. He doesn’t dress to impress but his music does. Playing to an adoring crowd he began with Water Street and immediately received a rapturous reception.
As Landry, Felice was alone on stage with a semi-acoustic guitar, Felice’s producing more menace and volume with open tuning and a surprisingly big noise for one guy and a guitar.
Departing from his setlist as early as the second song Felice played the title track from his debut solo album In The Kingdom Of Dreams. More tracks from the album ensued; In Memoriam, 21st Century, a stunning version of Signs of Spring, Road To America and a mesmerising Mt. Despair with jangling guitar and plaintive vocals.
He included some old favourites from the Felice Brothers back catalogue, Sell The House and Wonderful Life which had the crowd singing along in adulation. Perhaps the highlight of the night was Will I Ever Reach Laredo.
“Thanks for coming y’all and for listening so quietly” said Felice, echoing the views of many American artists who are surprised at the attentiveness of British audiences.
For his encore Felice said “I’m going to try a new one, about the town where I’m from” Ghost Town, New York with Dylan-esque vocals. Finishing with the Felice Brothers’ The Ballad of Lou The Welterweight there was more crowd participation, every word, not just the chorus. At this point Felice allowed himself a smile.
This was a remarkable and compelling performance, oozing emotion,angst and passion. I came to this gig as an impartial reviewer and left as a fan.