The Americans – Live Review – Leeds Lending Room
By Victoria Holdsworth, July 2018
With an evening as balmy as the deep southern states of America, the heat and the atmosphere was palpable tonight for this LA foursome. And since seeing them play earlier this year, at The Brudenell Social Club, as part of their Americana homage, I have been hooked on these guys ever since.
There is a surprisingly good crowd for a school night at The Lending Rooms, and it seems that the band are gathering quite a following up north, with this being their only gig on tour that isn’t based around London.
Taking to the stage with their usual suave coolness, in their blue collar attire, the unmistakable rolling beats of ‘Nevada’ starts the set. Right away you can see everyone in the audience’s ears prick up.
One of the best songs in their set list is ‘Long Way From Home’, with its Eddie Cochran vibe and bone shaking pure rock ‘n’ roll vibe it is a real crowd pleaser. It just transports you back to a bygone era.
“Dirty blues licks”
What makes this band’s live act so special is the way their shows leave such an evident impression on their audience. Music has an ability to bring out emotions in ways that many people do not understand, demonstrated brilliantly by The Americans in the track ‘State Line’. The staccato intro and building military-style drum beats playing in the background set this track apart from most of the other songs in the set. It is a joy to watch them play, as each member of the band gets completely lost and immersed in their own musical moments.
Racing drum fills and some fine guitar work on ‘Can’t Contain Myself’ wold have not been out of place on an Elvis film soundtrack, styled with some in-your-face Memphis blues, and the vocal talents of Patrick Ferris just contain so much emotive tone, it’s hard to deny just how delectable it is.
‘Last Chance’ has some bittersweet everything added to it, especially the lyrics which are captivating and raw and there’s a perfect balance to the story and the sound throughout.
The energy-fuelled ‘Hooky’ is one of their very best. It’s such a rootsy treasure with some taut guitar sounds and robust vocals, which again just lend to the absolute authenticity of the band’s musical influences. Indeed, new track, ‘Stand True’, could have been written by Johnny Cash.
Their first single, ‘I’ll Be Yours’, was instantly recognisable to many in the crowd this evening. It was met with lots of shouts of encouragement and excitement – and with good reason. This is a belting track, and sounds even better performed live than it does on the album. Then, in complete contrast, with some ultra-dirty blues licks is the gritty track ‘Prison Yard Walk’, which sees both Ferris brothers do what they do best, and totally become the heartbeat and lifeblood of the song.
The Americans’ standout song tonight though, would have to be their latest release, ‘The Right Stuff’, which is pure class and elevates them above and beyond most on the scene.
The only song that did not gel with me though was ‘Isabella’, which seemed a little lacklustre and did not fit in with the rest of the set. But it was quickly forgotten about as they approached the end of their time at The Lending Rooms, playing the military-themed ‘Bronze Star’ and ‘Foreign Land’.
Ending on the blisteringly good ‘Take Me At My Word’, which has a slightly funkier bluesy feel to it, and the outstanding ‘Roosevelt’, this band shows that music of any age or genre should be preserved at all costs. The Americans have a fantastic knack of making you understand how vital it is to appreciate and understand where we have gotten to be musically. They play this genre of music exceedingly well and the songs are so meaningful that you cannot help falling in love with them.
The band tonight seemed to have a lot more gusto about their performance, than their previous Leeds gig at the Brudenell. The Americans sounded well polished and ready to let loose. I can’t wait to see these guys on a festival stage, taking their talents to the masses.