During their two-month European tour, The Americans have teamed up St Paul & The Broken Bones. The last leg of the tour has seen the bands roll through the UK with their penultimate show at Nottingham’s iconic music venue, Rock City.
The Americans were first on stage in what seemed like a less-than-half filled room. This was quite concerning for a main stage gig, but it didn’t shake the band in the slightest. Their music settled in nicely with the audience as a singular whistle during the entrance had turned into an uproar of applause nearing their last few songs. The bluesy blend of guitars alongside the rhythmic tapping of the snare is what created that vintage American Rock & Roll feel. The Americans were musically sound and played extremely tight which shown to be quite impressive in songs such as Stowaway which presented high energy and lots of movement from the band.
Patrick Ferris’ lead vocals were fantastic. There is clear inspiration coming from country and folk genres, but it shows a certain uniqueness when partnered with the rest of the band. The Right Stuff had Ferris singing with some grit which gave the song a nice punch and had me tapping my feet. I’ll be Yours demonstrated the softer side of Ferris’ vocals which proved to be my favourite song of the set. My only quarrel is the lack of song variation in terms of pacing. All songs other than Stowaway were same-same in terms of speed and energy. After speaking with various audience members, they seemed to agree with me saying If the set was 15 minutes longer then they would probably become bored. But saying that, The Americans were a very good band in terms of music quality and definitely brought over a little slice of traditional American Rock & Roll to Nottingham.
St Paul & The Broken Bones were up next and were greeted with inaudible cheers from a filled-up Rock City. Speaking to a couple of superfans in the break before, I was told that I wasn’t ready for Paul Janeway’s vocals and holy shit, I really wasn’t. This guy CAN SING! Janeway’s vocals are on another level, easily the best live voice I have ever listened to. He completely dominated the stage in every way possible. I found myself clapping and screaming when he was hitting those incredibly difficult high notes. Grass is Greener was my standout song of the show which truly highlighted his range and the emotion portrayed through that song made me speechless. I could literally feel every word that he was singing. Their set was an experience rather than a show.
Sprinkled throughout the show was multiple instrumental segments which truly expressed the skill of the band. A segment was dedicated to the brass section which consisted of a trumpet, a saxophone and a trombone. I found myself running out of breath for them as they were whipping out these high-octane solo’s which were well over 5 minutes long. Any longer and I would have passed out. However, during these segments, it seemed a lot of the audience used it as an excuse to nip to the toilet or grab another drink, so I felt it was a little under appreciated. However, St Pauls had a brilliant set which at times made me speechless. This band should have a benchmark in the soul genre if they don’t already. This isn’t my go-to music, but St Paul & The Broken Bones have made another fan today.
Overall, this gig was brilliant with two very different styles of music which shouldn’t work together, but really complimented each other nicely, I will be looking out for both bands on their next journey into the UK.