Saturday 28 May 2011

Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire at Oran Mor, 27th May 2011

Roddy Hart and his band The Lonesome Fire displayed all the signs of a band on the way up at a sold out Oran Mor last night. Riding high in confidence on the back of the Forever Young - Bob Dylan birthday concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in January, Hart and his band flew through their back catalogue and played a few new songs to boot.

Support band the Sunshine Social played a short acoustic set, with Hart and co determined to have their equipment set up and ready to go. The highlight of the set was a stunning song that the singer played at the end called 'Bones' that moved him to tears. It was emotional and the young guy was baring his heart and soul on stage, resulting in a hug from his band mates afterwards.

The Lonesome Fire is now a 6-piece band as Hart continues to develop his sound; think Petty mixed with Dylan, The Band and Springsteen. With two (sometimes 3) electric guitars (Roddy is normally on acoustic), there is a real warmth and depth on stage.

Opening with a new song, the band barely let up for the first few songs until Roddy welcomes and thanks the crowd. 

Throughout the course of the night and the between song banter we learn that Roddy has had a busy day; finishing a song (that he plays along at the piano with the lyrics in front of him), attending a mate from uni's wedding and playing two songs, getting stuck on the M8 on the way ack(checking to see if someone who tweeted him to say they were stuck has arrived) and playing a packed Oran Mor!

There are many highlights from the night, I should really take a pen and paper to gigs to get the setlist, but I go to gigs to enjoy them, not to take notes. So in no particular order;

'She Is All I Need' was a searing blast of American rock with Hart on harmonica; 'Home' received one of the biggest cheers of the night and rightly so, with beatutiful guitar work and Hart's voice at its best.

'Send A Message' is epic pop with eches of U2 and Coldplay at times, Petty and the Heartbreakers at times, particularly towards the end when it moves up through the gears with the; 'send send, send send the message' section with a gorgeous stadium size (yet delicate) guitar riff.

The band rip through a song called 'A Girl Named Joe' and afterwards we learn that it originated from a jam session with Ryan Adams, although he ended up collapsed in a corner, so Hart finshed the song. It was good fun guitar pop.

'Take Me Home' was another cracker, harmonies reaching skywards, a lovely piano riff taing the song all the way.

'Edge of Love' is stunningly beautiful, the band seem to work as one throughout the night and Hart ensures they are well thanked and name checked to applause from the crowd.

'I will take away your loneliness and fear, to the edge of love I will follow you my dear'

'Bright  Light Fever' is one of a number of new songs thrown into the set, it is another epic song with the band really going for it. A possible future single (to my ears anyway), this is a song that the band clearly enjoy playing, I could imagine it being played and enjoyed at festivals.

'Mercy Boat' ends the night in stunning fashion, Hart's lyrics are among his best, his voice throughout the night is sensational, rising and falling when required, roaring and straining in all the right places, backed up superbly on harmonies by the Lonesome Fire.

'it might take time, strength, prayers, we'll get there'

This summer will see the CD release of his third album Road of Bones (currently available on LP here) and I am sure that the band will kick on from there. I'd highly recommend going to see them live the next time they are in town, although if you fancy a trip to Paisley they play there in June.

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