The Wood Brothers – Live at London’s Bush Hall *****

A great opening set came from Logan Brill who was joined on guitar by Jess Grommet, one of her band mates from Nashville.

Brill began singing blues in a local bar in Tennessee at the age of 11 and she treated the audience to a storming blues number during her set. Pick of her tracks was If We Didn’t Break Each Other’s Heart, a beautiful song inspired by her hero Bonnie Raitt.

Brill ended with Walk Of Shame which morphed into a closing crowd singalong chorus of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. After she finished there were shouts for “more”.

The Wood Brothers are Chris Wood on upright/electric bass and harmonica, Oliver Wood on lead vocals/guitar, and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. They hadn’t played London for several years and received an incredible reaction from the audience.

In the midst of a hefty tour to promote One Drop Of Truth, the latest album, the band played several tracks from it, including River Takes The Town, Laughin’ Or Crying, Seasick Emotions, with Chris on lead vocals, and Sparkling Wine.

Kicking off with Postcards From Hell, the trio produced a wall of sound, far bigger that you’d expect and more dynamic than the studio recording. This was a performance of awesome power with a country-tinged rock groove like Steely Dan on steroids.

It’s surprising that Chris Wood’s battered double bass survives more than one show such is the ferocity of his slapping the strings. Jarno Rix somehow manages to provide drums and keyboards at the same time, including one brilliant piano solo on Luckiest Man whilst keeping a solid beat on the drums. This brought a thunderous reaction from the Bush Hall faithful.

A rousing Happiness Jones from the new album closed the main set and the group’s encore was Freight Train and Get Out My Life Woman. From rockabilly with Chris Wood dancing with his double bass, to Louisiana swamp, to crowd singalongs this was a stunning performance of energy, fun, professionalism, power. 20 tracks and 100 minutes of brilliance.

Words and Live Photos by Chaz Brooks

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