“If someone sang this song to me, I’d totally suck their d*ck”, so elegantly declared Missouri-born blues-fuser Nathaniel Rateliff in his Dad-jiving Thursday-night performance at the contradictorily-glamorous venue, De Montfort Hall. The smokey-voiced rocker raised the roof with his jamming ensemble of middle-aged bushy-bearded musicians, The Night Sweats.
The swinging riffs and lively beats made you feel like you were slamming shots of whiskey, and tucking into a fatty stake in rural America, but sadly instead we were still all stood in boring old Leicester. It’s funny to think about how many of the youngsters there were happily enjoying a cheeky bit of soulful modern dad-rock; it didn’t matter how old you were, but rather how much you were grooving. moreover, the event felt more like a festival gig than a stand-alone concert, as the doors were pretty much left wide open with a bustling trickle of listeners popping out to grab another pint. Songs such as the buzzing ‘I Need Never Get Old‘ were filled to the brim with gritty brass that just grappled hold and spun you around like a drunken waltzer, whilst throughout the concert, the band kept cruising around with their twangy bluesy gospel organ – and the eagerly-merry crowd ate it up like a helping of chips to go with their rib-eye steak and whisky. So despite being the youngest in the room by a decade or two, the gig happened to be uniquely fun; I even got to feel like a dad for the night.
But another – probably more down with the kids – spectacle that night was that of the support act, Ed Harcourt. The Mercury Prize nominated Paloma Faith writer led a modest set, performing glamorously moving content plucked straight off his latest album Furnaces. The murky self-titled single seemed to be a crowd-stirring favourite, revealing a powerful vocal performance, reminiscent of alternative music gems such as Jeff Buckley. It would have perhaps been nice to have seen a longer set, as the thirty-minute allotment seemed to present a lingering void that could have been topped up with – more hunger-inducing food metaphors to come – another portion of deep gloomy rock tracks. Regardless, a support is a support at the end of the day, and Harcourt successfully laid down the red carpet for the audacious country boppers to steal the limelight.