Albany Down | 100 Club | 31 May 2016
Photo credit: Laurence Harvey
Performing most of your new album takes balls – especially if said album isn’t even out yet. But Albany Down, whose 10-song set features eight tracks from the forthcoming ‘The Outer Reach’, pull it off.
That’s due to the band members – Paul Muir is an engaging frontman, guitarist Paul Turley plays effortlessly, drummer Donna Peters and bassist Billy Dedman are a no-nonsense rhythm section – and the actual songs.
‘Feeding The Flame’ opens the show – as it does the LP – boasting a punchy riff, triumphant chorus, and scorching guitar solo. The knockout ‘I Need You’ barely contains its urgency, the slow-burning ‘Like A Bullet’ sounds as tender and anthemic as the keyboard-enhanced studio version, and, even without a Southern church choir of backing vocals, the gritty, slide guitar-led ‘Mr Hangman’ truly shows off the quartet’s blues credentials.
A feisty ‘The Drop’ adds high-octane fuel to the fire, before country-tinged ‘Home’ and sweeping ‘Hey Jude’-style power ballad ‘Sing Me To Sleep’ slow the pace, up the intimacy, and give Muir’s voice plenty of opportunity to soar.
Earlier in the set, the dynamic, fast-talking title track of 2013’s ‘Not Over Yet’ and a blistering rendition of the sprawling ‘South Of The City’, a fan favourite since 2011, understandably find the band at their most confident and comfortable. But explosive closer ‘Revolution’, an impassioned battle cry performed as if it’s been a live staple for years, comes tantalisingly close, sending the punters home feeling emboldened while underlining just how powerful the new songs are.
- ‘The Outer Reach’ is released on 10 June 2016.