Counting Crows/Lucy Rose – Colston Hall, Bristol 20 April 2013
A welcome return to the lovely Colston Hall in Bristol and something a little lighter for a change.
23 year old Lucy Rose is a folk/indie folk singer from Warwickshire. She made her way onto the stage in an unassuming manner and proceeding to play a half hour set which consisted of tracks from her debut album Like I Used To. She was backed by an extremely competent group of musicians who allowed her to take centre stage. So, what is the music like? Well, a number of influences are clear; elements of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are evident and comparisons with Anna Calvi and Laura Marlin would not be unkind; there were also elements of PJ Harvey present. With an unassuming but captivating stage presence, Lucy spent the entire set seated centre stage with her guitar and appeared genuinely delighted that the already packed venue provided her with well-deserved applause after each song. She was canny enough to acknowledge that the audience were not there to see her and her self-depreciating humour went down very well. If you fancy a bit of chilled out folk/pop then she is well worth checking out. 8/10
The main event and two hours of the highest quality musicianship from California’s Counting Crows followed. Led by the energetic and extremely charismatic Adam Duritz the Crows already had a sold out Colston Hall completely won over. Opening with Sullivan Street the band cruised through 18 songs with ease. Duritz is such fantastic singer with a great range, and the band are all consummate musicians. The interchanges throughout were breath-taking at times, with virtually every member of the band change instruments, the only exceptions being Jim Bogios on drums and the excellent lead guitarist Dan Vickery. The set list contained five cover versions, not surprising given the band’s reputation for doing this. Still, you don’t often hear covers of Teenage Fan Club (Start Again) or Grateful Dead (Friend of the Devil). What you do expect from the Crows is Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) and this was duly played towards the end of the set.
Other highlights? Well, fans favourites Round Here , Hangin Around and Mrs Potter’s Lullaby were all brilliant, with Round Here especially enjoyable as it always substantially extended by Duritz who put in an inspired vocal performance. Throughout the show the band appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, with much interplay and fooling around. Of course, a band that has sold over 20 million albums should be pretty tight. The rhythm section of Bogis and Millard Powers kept everything ticking along and the triple guitars of Vickery, David Bryson and David Immergluck ensured that the guitar based sound of the band was at the forefront of their sound. You can hear the bands influences throughout; Van Morrison, REM, Dylan and The Band are all evident but the live performance reminded me massively of The Eagles which is no bad thing. They finished with Rain King and Holiday in Spain to a massive and deserved ovation. A welcome break from my usual metal nights and highly recommended. 9/10