The Brothers Landreth
Tuesday 25th August 2015
The Borderline, London
Canadian roots-rockers The Brothers Landreth played their European debut show at the intimate Borderline in London on Tuesday night. This special show followed the release of their acclaimed 11-song debut 'Let It Lie' - so much so that it actually won this years Junos Roots & Traditional Album award. The band's sound on the album is anchored by the bluesy wail of electric guitars, the swell of B3 organ, and the blood harmonies of brothers Joey and David Landreth that has since drawn comparisons to The Band, The Allman Brothers and Jackson Browne.
As we made our way down the Borderline stairs we just caught the end of first support The Honey Ants - the hush of the packed audience testimony to them hanging off every note from the guitar and vocal duo – a half hour set well received. The final support - Wildwood Kin - lapped up every minute of their set -and although their enjoyment was infectious - the crowd also appreciated the spot-on harmonies and musicianship from this guitar, mandolin and drum all-girl trio.
Despite being behind schedule, a speedy turnaround saw the main event hit the stage a little later than planned – although we did notice the absence of a B3 organ! The Brothers Landreth lined-up with Joey on guitar and vocals, brother Dave on bass, Ryan ‘Rhino’ Voth on drums and Ariel Posen on guitar. Unusually, the guys opened with a cover – although it was apparent that all throughout the set the guys were pinching themselves that were not only playing London (the obligatory “Hello London” of course) but also it was in front of a crowd (cue the playing to just the Canadian barman anecdote). Anyway, there take on Wings’ ‘Let ‘em In’ was inspirational – not only to get the UK on their side but immediately gave us a taste of Joey’s slide, Ariel’s discontinued JHS Klon plus the band’s awesome harmonies.
We were then into ‘LIL’ territory with the groovy and foot-tappin’ ‘Tappin’ On The Glass’ and just to prove they could mix it up ‘I Am The Fool’ with its neat Country riff (originally written by Landreth Senior no less) cemented the strength of ‘LIL’ after just two tracks. The groove of ‘Made Up Mind’ was followed by the album’s title track (see Vid Of The Day), Joey preferring live electric to acoustic on the album – although still the same result – perfect. A couple more covers were thrown in for good measure: Lyle Lovett’s ‘If I Had A Boat’ and John Hiatt’s ‘Alone In The Dark’ – the former an enchanting acoustic/harmony gathering – the latter nailed – again despite no keys. Rhino and Dave were the archetypal spine of the band - with Rhino chipping in with a bit of banter whilst Dave proved later in the set that his brother was not the only one with great vocals!
Joey and Ariel’s boogie-woogie guitars heralded ‘Runaway Train’ as we continued down the ‘LIL’ track slowing down at ‘Nothin’, then all-change with the hand-clapping audience participation of the Staple Singers ‘Tell Him What You Want – Jesus On The Mainline’ and then back on track and finishing with the album stand-out ‘Our Love’ – and again despite no keys - the foundation of the song was built for the classic guitar solo from Posen - although the Prog in me maintains it ends too early! The guys were on a roll and the encore began slowly with the delightful ‘Greenhouse’, continued with ‘Where Were We’ and despite their ‘roots’ being from Winnipeg - ‘Dixie’ I suppose was never more appropriate to round off a memorable evening! Our thanks to Matt from Savage Gringo for the invite, apparently the guys will be announcing further UK shows for October shortly. Do not miss them.