Many a significant rock career can trace its origins to shows in the back room of Camden’s various boozers so it was appropriate that hotly tipped Vancouver blues rockers No Sinner should have their UK showcase in one of the area’s lesser known venues, where a healthy crowd was in attendance.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Beth Hart and St Jude’s Lynne Jackaman, the sassy Colleen Rennison is the undoubted star, with a feisty, powerful voice. In a figure hugging dress she oozed an earthy charm, even though the way she swigged alternately from a can of branded French lager and red wine straight from the bottle veered uncomfortably close to ladette territory.
There is an unashamedly retro feel to No Sinner and I was struck how strong their sixties influences where, be it on the sparse blues rock of ‘Work Song’ and ‘Wait’ or which had something of a Motown feel. This is only enhanced by the hairstyles and demeanour of guitarist Eric Campbell and bassist Parker Bossley, although they tended to lurk in Coleen’s shadows somewhat.
‘Rise Up’ had a jazzy edge to it, ‘Runnin’ featured some tasty slide guitar and by the time of the raunchy ‘Saturday Night’ the gig was warming up nicely and the band were tight. They ended with the single ‘Boo Hoo Hoo’, in a different mould again with its more spacious, bass driven grooves, Colleen departing the stage well before the band jammed out the song.
However she was tempted back for two encores in ‘If Anything’ and an obscure cover I had to look up, Cheryl Dilmore’s ‘All Woman’, which with its classic early seventies feel was perhaps the most memorable song of the night.
The blues rock field is a crowded one, in which it is hard to stand out when the wheel has already been invented. However on this evidence No Sinner are strong contenders to make an impact.
Review by Andy Nathan
Photos by Mark Hughes (MHP, exclusively for GRTR!)
The debut album from No Sinner is released on 20 January 2014 via Provogue Records
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