It may seem quaint to talk of such a concept as ‘gig etiquette’, but tonight, as Kevin Devine struggles to make himself heard over the clutch of chattering idiots at the back, you can’t help but wish that common courtesy could be made a condition of entry to music venues.
Kevin is playing solo tonight, and unfortunately this acoustic approach fails to really connect beyond the faithful few down at the front. Still, he deserves respect for soldiering on in the face of undeserved indifference.
Close your eyes whilst listening to Lucero, and you can almost hear the years of empty whiskey bottles, rusty transit vans and cheap motels in singer/guitarist Ben Nichols’ ragged tones. Okay, maybe it’s just me. But it can’t be denied that this Memphis punk/alt-country crew create the kind of warmth and intimacy that you’d imagine couldn’t exist on a cold, rainy December evening in London.
Theirs are Springsteen-esque songs borne out of life, love and adventure; and the effect of the likes of ‘Sweet Little Thing‘ and “I Can Get Us Out Of Here‘ on the crowd is enthralling, as everyone wraps their arms around each others’ shoulders and howls along with an almost religious fervour.
It’s understandable, though, because throughout the duration of their nearly 90-minute long set, Lucero’s raw honesty and knack for a tune mark them out as a band to believe in. Come back soon, guys.