Monday 2nd February 2015
The Borderline, London
Given the title of Ryan Bingham's new album 'Fear And Saturday Night' - it was certainly a case of apprehension and Monday night as we approached the sold out Borderline in London. We obviously had reservations about Academy award winner Bingham performing a solo acoustic set without his dearly departed 'Dead Horses' - who we salivated over when first saw them at Hard Rock Calling in June 2011. Not only that but the evening was further stripped back with no support although the good news was that we consequently stumbled across a nugget of a rock pub close by before getting back to The Borderline for a 9pm start!
Fresh from his previous night's gig at King Tuts in Glasgow - the Americana singer/songwriter launched into 'The Poet' - the first track of off 'Junky Star' - it's intimacy immediately palpable - the scene was set for a memorable evening. Another Dead Horses and 'Junky Star' classic followed - 'Depression' and the gig just flowed with the Hollywood in Bingham clearly evident in not only his looks (pics are here girls) but also his touching personal anecdotes that included his Grandfather and hitchhiking! But at the end of the day it was all about his delivery of a guitar and a voice to die for - perfectly illustrated on 'Hallelujah' - yet another stand out track from 'Junky Star' - which understandably charted in the US in 2010.
What about 'Fear And Saturday Night' I hear you ask? Well the smell of fear when you generally hear the introduction "This is from the new album" was not an issue - given the seamless way in which 'Broken Heart Tattoos', 'Radio' 'Top Shelf Drug' (Video Of The Day) and the title track stood up to his big hitters. Have to say though that the stand out tune of the night was the encore 'Bread And Water' and if that didn't get your juices going then there's no hope I'm afraid. Anyway Bingham proved last night what a consumate performer he is - O ye of little faith we hear you cry! And the cherry on the 2015 cake is that Ryan is returning to London in October with - wait for it - his band! Do not miss out on that - although talking of Hollywood - we're gonna need a bigger boat!