It was as if the band from North Carolina had slipped six hundred miles south and relocated to Muscle Shoals...
Hiss Golden Messenger successfully swapped the hurt and intimacy of frontman MC Taylor's solo gigs for a full and rocking electric band sound last night. A less than perfect PA set-up at Brighton's Bleach left lyrics mostly indisinguishable but guitars and keyboards crunched effectively around Scott Hirsch's loping bass and a pert hi-hat.
The set began and ended with Taylor singing and playing alone, his bandmates harmonising off-mic, but in between the energy level seldom dropped. They were clearly having fun and the audience responded.
I was reminded that at some point trawling the internet I'd managed to download a very nice HGM mixtape called Wah-Wah Cowboys, Vol II. The said pedal may not have been physically present last night, but that title very much captured the spirit , as the chaps threw in a Waylon Jennings cover alongside sometimes drastically re-arranged originals.