Friday, September 17, 2010

Review from London Show


Much like The Walkmen, to my mind The Felice Brothers are operating in the best bands in the world bracket, but without courting any great levels of popularity.

While I wish them every commercial success, in the meantime I get to watch one of the best outfits on the planet from the front row of small venues like The Troxy.

(I remember the disappointment I felt at Brixton Academy when Guy Garvey of Elbow boasted that soon they would be playing Wembley Arena. Cue the scramble to get an overpriced ticket to see your favourite band in a large and soulless venue.)

The Felice boys were always likely to appeal to people (like me) who love The Band, Bob Dylan, Americana, country and storytelling.

They all sing, they swap instruments, they look like they’ve slept in their clothes. But they’re much more than a modern-day incarnation of bands gone by. They’re writing some of the best songs and best lyrics in the business.

And live they were just great. Much younger than I expected and, especially in fiddle player Greg Farley, they mix their Catskill Mountains roots and traditional instruments with a modern, Streets of New York attitude.

I always like bands who look like they’re enjoying playing together, it’s infectious, and that’s definitely the case with the Felices.