(Photo credit: Laurence Harvey)
Mollie Marriott has hit the ground running. Just weeks after releasing her debut album, ‘Truth Is A Wolf’, the singer is touring the UK as special guest of Bad Touch. No stranger to the country’s stages – earlier this year she supported Paul Weller and Wilko Johnson – Marriott looks and sounds totally at home in front of the Islington Academy crowd.
Backed by a tight three-piece band, she seduces those who’ve come out on a Sunday night with her majestic voice and self-deprecating charm. Able to see only her own face staring back from the T-shirts in the front row, she sings into the dark with all her heart.
Her years as a backing vocalist shine through in the impeccable control of her instrument, soaring through ‘Transformer’, dark and sultry on ‘King Of Hearts’, rocking out all over ‘Control’.
Two exciting new songs, ‘Nobody To Love’ and ‘Into You’, and a tribute to Tom Petty complement the LP tracks perfectly in a set that’s well matched to Bad Touch’s equally high-energy headline performance.
The Norwich rockers, fronted by the impressively hirsute and charming singer/impromptu stand-up comic/audience conductor Stevie Westwood, provide hit after hit of their whisky-and-grits Southern rock.
Proudly tipping their hats to Led Zeppelin and The Black Crowes, the fun lovin’ quintet focus on the ballsy fist-pumpers from their two studio LPs, ‘Truth Be Told’ and ‘Half Way Home’. So there are scorching renditions of the balls-to-the-wall ‘99%’, ‘Heartbreaker Soulshaker’, ‘Wise Water’, and ‘Good On Me’.
But there are also quieter moments, like ‘Something Someone’ performed mostly unplugged by Westwood and lead guitarist Rob Glendinning. And the epic pair ‘The Mountain’ and ‘Waiting For This’ really capture the band’s shared musical ambition and talent.
Two new offerings – current single, ‘Baby Get It On’, performed, as ever, with Marriott tonight; the not-yet-released ‘I Belong’ – make the most of that ambition and talent, and suggest a future as hot as New Orleans in July.