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Anton & The Colts - Blackfriars - 14/04/17

"An evening of Americana on a Good Friday with Anton & The Colts."


Review by Graham McCusker
Posted on 2017-04-15 19:14:20
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The basement bar of Blackfriars in Glasgows Merchant City on Good Friday is as good a setting as any for an evening of authentic Americana, headlined by Anton & The Colts. The four-piece, fronted by Anton ODonnell emerge from the studio for their first headline gig of 2017 to showcase material from their forthcoming debut album, due for release this year.

The evening begins with Australian songstress Lizzie Michele, who delivers a beautiful set of heartfelt acoustic ballads. Michele sets the bar high from the off with her extraordinary vocal range, rewarding those who arrived early enough to catch her set.

Dixie Lang follows, with her blend of Dolly Parton meets Margo Price-style country stompers, and has everyone in the venue on the dancefloor in front of her by the time she ends her set on the wonderful Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson.

After playing as Langs backing band, it is the turn of James Edwyn and The Borrowed Band to take centre stage as they warm the evergrowing crowd up for The Colts. It is a tight, energetic set with their material sounding like the Eagles covering Ryan Adams Gold, with the gorgeous Why You Got To Break My Heart being a particular highlight.

Taking to the stage shortly before 11pm to an audience who are now suitably well-refreshed, Anton & The Colts have Blackfriars in the palms of their hands from the off. Frontman ODonnell has the swagger of a young Liam Gallagher, but with more than enough talent to back it up. Its far from a one-man show, though. The Colts are a well-oiled machine, with the slick rhythm section of drummer Dillon Haldane and bassist John Dunlop letting lead guitarist Roscoe Wilson have free reign to riff and solo his way through the near ninety-minute set this evening. In Wilson, the band may well just have the best lead guitarist in the country, and this is what makes the Colts stand out amongst what is largely a watered-down Americana scene at present.

With a set largely consisting of newer material, the four-piece seem to be heading towards an Abbey Road-era Beatles sound, with extended instrumentals, and show a depth that isnt evident on their previous releases which centre primarily around the bluesy Americana for which theyve become renowned for. For all their technical brilliance, however, he band still show they can rock out as they end the set with Broken Toes - a proper old-fashioned rock and roll jam, peppered with ODonnells smokey howl.

Even on an evening with such a strong supporting cast, Anton and his merry band of Colts still managed to absolutely nail it. After several years of constant gigs and tours around the country, and even further afield, the strength of the new material aired this evening shows that The Colts wont be playing basement bars for much longer.

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