It’s safe to say that the good folks who run this tiny south London pub probably haven’t witnessed scenes like these before. Tonight may only be Lucero‘s second UK gig, but the sold-out, booze drenched crowd are enraptured; hugging, crowd-surfing and clambering all over the bar as they howl along to every single word of every single song. In the drinking stakes, this lot would leave the Dropkick Murphys choking on their Guinness.
Their devotion is understandable, though; as the Memphis alt-country quintet are so much more than your average bar band. Singer/guitarist Ben Nichols exudes southern bonhomie as he rasps his way through the likes of ‘Slow Dancing‘ and ‘San Francisco‘; punk-infused gems that tell tales of lovers lost, lifelong friends and years spent touring in rusty transit vans. It’s precisely this raw honesty that enables Lucero to connect so well with their fans; there’s no insincere posturing, no unnecessary grandstanding – just five unshaven, tattooed guys with a knack for a great tune and a whole lot of stories to tell.
By the time the Social Distortion-esque ‘California‘ segues into a ramshackle cover of ‘Ring Of Fire‘, Nichols is almost swallowed up by the fans spilling onto the stage. Make no mistake: they’ll all be talking about this one for years to come.