Live Review: Allman Brown – The Courtyard Theatre

victorialing

On the morning of 12th November, I woke early to make a special trip on that blue cheap travel coach to London to attend a gig of Allman Brown.  I came to hear of Allman through social media of his label mate Robyn Sherwell, and to entice me further through his social media, I found out about the support act Oh Sister. Two acts in a few songs over three months or so, I was hooked and had to get a ticket.

The wonderful Oh Sister took the stage first, and due to my time spent on social media, they launched into their first song, For The Dales, with a dedication to me.  Well, that took me by surprise and I took the dedication shyly. The crowd were a little on the quiet side but lead singer Sarah, who for years has performed under the moniker Oh Sister as a solo artist, kept them engaged as they made their way through a very short set of five songs which also included Hot & Cold from their debut EP, Watch The Water. Watch out for Oh Sister as well, with their captivating harmonies over electronic folk beats.

After a little intermission, the man of the night Allman Brown took to the stage with a small band consisting of Robyn Sherwell on the keyboard.  You may have heard of her – she does what I personally think is the best cover I have ever heard of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. And I don’t say that lightly as I am quite a huge FM fan!

With the room now at full capacity, Allman kicked off his night with the beautiful Sons And Daughters, the audience wholly in his grasp with nods and cheers. Yet the main reason for tonight’s show is for the single launch of Rivers, which comes into the set fifth song in, with a duet with Robyn. Both artists are brilliant in their own right but together it is, excuse my lack of vocabulary, WOW! Their voices alone are perfect, but together they give me goose pimples. Then if that was not enough, we welcome back Sarah from Oh Sister and with Allman on guitar, we are treated to their cover of Ryan Adams’ Rescue Blues – another amazing collaboration of the night.

But the night did belong to Allman and with a few solo numbers with just his guitar, we felt the rawness of his talent in the dark, quiet room for songs such as Don’t Let Me Go. Although we are given a decent length in set, like the support act, it just seemed to be all over too quickly. Luckily for the crowd, Allman obliged with ‘one more song’ after being ‘dragged from the tempting rider of a bucket full of beer’ and ended the night with Flume – the perfect ending to a pretty perfect evening of some of the most mesmerizing music.

Words & Image by Victoria Ling