Dan Baird And Homemade Sin remain a glorious anomaly in the contemporary rock scene. They are a southern rock band with one foot in Nashville and one foot in kick-ass rock and roll, all tied together by a lyrical twist.
Their high octane show is big on songs, sumptuous grooves and jangling guitars and is being refreshingly devoid of tiresome clichés.
They slip straight into a Stones influenced ‘Dixie Beauxdurant’, which is a musical statement of Dan’s own enduing roots rocking style, and add a dirgy feel to ‘Knocked Out Cold’ from their last studio album ‘Rollercoaster’.
In sharp contrast, they veer into pop rock territory with ‘Sheila’. It playfully segues into ‘Do You Want To Dance’, as the two guitarist hit a memorable groove and the crowd have a communal flashback to belt out the chorus.
The place is jumping. Warner flashes one of his smiles to suggest all is well and the rhythm section is smoking, while Dan is apparently having a ball, though it’s sometimes hard to tell as he cuts an angst filled figure not content until he’s hit a big groove.
‘Two For Tuesday’ is a major highlight. Dan gets the crowd involved on the call and response ‘who-hoo’ section of a song full of hypnotic jangling guitars tones, twin vocals and a great lyric about the radio playing CCR. This seamlessly segues into ‘Proud Mary’, suggesting Dan isn’t about to hide either his CCR or Stones influences.
We’re soon into The Georgia Satellites territory with the magnificent ‘All Over But the Crying’ with shades of Neil Young on the slow build, and Dan’s most impassioned vocal of the night.
Warner launches into a Neil Young style figure on ‘Crooked Smile’. It moves from a grungy opening and Mauro Magellan’s nuanced stuttering beat via Warner’s climatic solo into anthemic proportions, before the drop-down draws whoops from the crowd.
‘Dan Takes Five’ is a perfect rocker sandwiched in between the two. Dan’s vocals are momentarily indecipherable, but like most of tonight it sounds great as part of a wall of sound that emphasizes the chiming guitars.
For a show that eschews a set list and follows Dan’s spontaneous whims, there’s still an essential slow build at the core reflected by the honky-tonk intro of ‘Julie and Lucky’, which morphs into a loose limbed rock and roll number. The crowd hits fever pitch on the call and response section of ‘I Love You Period’, on which Baird and Hodges share the mic for alternating lines.
Tonight, Dan Baird restates the old-school values of no-nonsence rock and roll. He plays it with sweat dripping intensity, total commitment and spark to frame his song craft. The band’s huge reception at the end is well deserved.
Peterborough based support band Austin Gold impress early on with a tightly focussed set that rocks hard.
Guitar playing vocalist and front man David James Smith cuts a charismatic figure in front of a drum-tight band who deliver a raft of catchy songs that emphasize melodies, hooks and tasteful solos.
They rock hard on the stop-time, ‘Brand New Low’ which has a memorable hook, while the staccato, riff-driven ‘Another Kind Of Bad’ is made for arenas.
They impress with another significant hook on ‘Roadside’ and the uplifting sweep of ‘See The Light’, two of a handful of songs that hammer home their potential.
Their allotted 45 minutes flies by in a whirl of great songs and real stagecraft. It leads to a big reception from the crowd and an unexpected bluesy encore that rounds off the perfect introduction to a band who are going places.
Review Pete Feenstra
Photos Rockrpix/ John Bull
Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 20:00
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Power Plays w/c 15 October 2018
BIRDSONG AT MORNING Waterfall (Blue Gentian Records)
GUN RUNNERS Save Our Souls (indie)
THE BUZNIKS Nail It To The Floor (3MS Music)
NAZARETH The Secret Is Out (Frontiers)
CITY OF THIEVES Fuel And Alcohol (Frontiers)
Featured Albums w/c 15 October (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 STEVE PERRY Traces (BMG)
12:00-13:00 URIAH HEEP Living The Dream (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BIRDSONG AT MORNING Signs And Wonders (Blue Gentian Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
18:00-19:00 STEVE MORSE/SARAH SPENCER Angelfire (2010)
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