The Lone Bellow perform an intimate show at Leeds's Brudenell Social Club on their UK Headline Tour.
The buzz among music lovers converging on the Brudenell Social Club tonight is tangible. It's only the first time The Lone Bellow have played in Leeds but devoted fans have travelled far and wide to be here for the occasion. Those who have been following this band over the last 5 years or so can scarcely believe the intimacy of the venue. At home in the States this band can sell out theatres; they've performed on all the major late night tv shows, charted each of their albums in the Billboard 200 and been nominated for an Americana Music Award. The Brudenell's new Community Room is modest. But as anyone who has seen this band live before knows, a room is no measure for the scale of their performance.
From the first chimes of the guitars, through building harmonies and driving rhythm, opener Deeper In The Water gradually erupts in a cathartic explosion which sees the audience bobbing and swaying, bouncing and stomping - and sweating - along with the band right from the outset. The Lone Bellow's live performances have often been compared to religious or spiritual exaltation and it's easy to see why. Through stirring choruses, vibrant three-part harmonies and soulful, honest lyrics the band craft an emotionally authentic experience, one that their audience is fully invested in.
On Time's Always Leaving Zach Williams charges his congregation with vim and vigour before quelling their intensity momentarily with the crushing Come Break My Heart Again. Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist each take turns to incite joy with sonorous melodies and zealous guitar playing. At full force this band can fairly rock!
At their most tender though, stripped to 3 mellifluous voices and a guitar around a single microphone, The Lone Bellow are a traditional gospel-country trio, heavy with blues and Appalachian folk character. In the middle of the set they let their accompanying players take a short breather as they draw the audience into their achingly beautiful ballads of love, devotion and faith. Walk Into A Storm's delicate refrain is the tear-jerking highlight of the night. The room is beyond silent, completely captivated by those 3 voices, save for fervent applause between each immersive chapter.
The band reconvene as a five-piece to play out the set with a series of evermore joyful affirmations. May You Be Well is a heartfelt blessing over the assembled audience, who cannot contain their elation and sing out every word to the very last. The band give their thanks and leave the stage but quickly return to perform a single song encore, unplugged, in the middle of the room. They're received again with reverential awe. As first-timers to this city The Lone Bellow could not feel more warmly welcomed. Likewise their fans, walking out onto the snowy streets, carry a glow in their cheeks and a radiance in their chests. It has been a satisfyingly spiritual Sunday night.
Setlist - Leeds : Brudenell Social Club // 21.01.2018
- Deeper In The Water
- You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional
- Time's Always Leaving
- Come Break My Heart Again
- Heaven Don't Call Me Home
- Call To War
- Walk Into A Storm
- Watch Over Us
- Then Came The Morning
- Can't Be Happy For Long
- May You Be Well
- Green Eyes and a Heart Of Gold
- You Never Need Nobody