Having been lucky enough to see the sold out, UK debut of No Sinner at The Black Heart in Camden in November 2013, we waited with anticipation as the Canadian blues rockers, fronted by Colleen Rennison, hit The Garage, Islington.
Already well into their ‘Save Your Soul’ – North American and European Tour 2014, the band certainly did not disappoint and pulled in a great crowd to their final UK gig, before heading off to Europe to finish the tour.
Exploding onto the stage, the lads (Eric Campbell on guitar, drummer Ian Browne and bassist Bradley Ferguson) played a stunning intro, then Colleen stormed on stage, launching straight into their new single “Love Is A Madness”. Her undeniable distinctive raspy tone (often compared to Janis Joplin) coupled with her unquestionable stage presence, style and versatility, captivated the crowd from the start.
With the opening number completed, the attentive crowd were then greeted with further new material, ‘Psych’ – pumping out loud, powerful hard hitting guitar with Campbell on lead complimented by Rennison’s recognizable husky tones, her signature raunchy and sultry moves, make an appearance from the start!
New songs (not on their current album), included ‘Wait’ and ‘Trouble’, which included the lines “trouble finds me” and “driving me crazy” (phrases synonymous with Rennison’s attitude towards her lifestyle and influences) drew on her experiences of growing up (she appears wiser than her twenty something years) and producing a sound that is, well, “No Sinner”.
Their debut album, Boo Hoo Hoo, provided the set with up tempo favourites, including “Devil On My Back” (accompanied by Colleen’s head banging, beer swilling antics) followed by a cover of Nina Simone’s version of Nat Adderley / Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Work Song” and a personal favourite “Runnin”.
The set list was interspersed with the slower and mellower number “September Moon”, written by friend Ben Rogers, with Campbell on slide guitar. This was opposed by a fantastic high octane cover of AC/DC’s “Ride On”.
With the end of the gig coming round far too quickly for the packed out crowd, who thrived off of Colleen’s energy and stage presence, the title track of the album, Boo Hoo Hoo, had a slight ‘false start’ as guitar tuning issues for Campbell resulted in the No Sinner iconic track having to be restarted. Unfazed Rennison signed off the evening on a high and left the stage to the band, which ended with another searing guitar solo from the accomplished Campbell.
All round, another strong performance from No Sinner, cementing their solid foundation for a promising career and forthcoming second album. Unfortunately there was no encore, due to the venue’s strict curfew policy.
No Sinner, have evolved with the own distinctive sound and great music. If you don’t already have a copy of the addictive sound of No Sinner’s “Boo Hoo Hoo” (Provogue Records), grab it now, or buy your tickets early for their next UK performance!
Review by Mary Pordum & Mark Hughes
Photos by Mark Hughes (MHP Studios)
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