...wonderful blend of various threads of Americana

I’d forgotten what a nice little venue the 100 Club is.

Strewn with pictorial reminders of its legendary heritage (a particularly old shot of Metallica in their thrashier days makes interesting viewing…), it’s a venue perfectly suited to small, intimate gigs but just roomy enough to accommodate a decent crowd, which is exactly what appears tonight to check out the debut live British date for Californian quintet Sea Wolf. Tonight they were supporting The Whigs, whose performance I’m forced to miss most of, but from what I do see they play a solid set that flits between dirty melodic pop and full-on garage grunge. Good stuff, and a shame I couldn’t catch more of it.

Before this however, Sea Wolf climb unassumingly onstage and immediately grab the crowd’s attention with their wonderful blend of various threads of Americana. Tonight’s performance shows the band to be more than capable of mixing up their sound, moving comfortably between melodic acoustic numbers, led by Church’s gentle vocals, and poppier indie/bluesy tracks, which are given a rawer, more energetic treatment. With a pronounced string sound, courtesy of some lovely cello playing, and a variety of keyboards and xylophones, seeing the group live also brings out the sense of them being a full band, with a performance suggesting they’ve been together far longer than just one album.

As well as a selection from recent debut ‘Leaves In The River’, the band perform a few new tracks, all of which are well received, finishing with storming, heavier versions of ‘Black Dirt’ and album favourite ‘You’re a Wolf’, both of which nicely bring out the dirty blues element suggested throughout their album. The crowd are clearly sold by the time the set finishes, with numerous cries for an encore and general appreciative hollers aplenty. An enticing performance from a band with a truly authentic sound.


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