Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Plaid Blankets

Old Crow Medicine Show
September 21st 2010
The Glee Club, Cardiff Bay


Upon reading that Old Crow Medicine Show were a 'Nashville version of Mumford and Sons' my decision to attend the Glee Club on September 21st was instantly made.* The Southern quintet had the big shoes of my heroes to fill - and fill them they did, bringing appropriately balmy weather with them to Cardiff Bay along with their style of American roots music. Despite the school night, the gig played out like a Saturday shindig, with the instantly enigmatic five-some creating a great atmosphere from their initial step on stage.

Ketch Secor - fiddle, harmonica and banjo player extraordinaire, encouraged banter between the band and crowd, repeatedly expressing a love for Tesco Mackerel at forty nine pence a can - apparently country doesn't pay so well (y'all)! Willie Watson's perfect teeth gleamed like a toothpaste advert (or should I say commercial?) as he grinned continuously, belting out his trademark vocals to a mixture of old songs and new, some being tour tested for the first time. Each member was equally energetic in their performance, exuding infectious enthusiasm throughout.

The gig was played in two sets, lasting two and a half hours in total, allowing the audience to fully savour the band's debut in Wales. As the bows gradually warmed their strings, so warmed the checked shirt and cowboy boot clad crowd, hustling closer toward the stage to form a plaid blanket of bouncing bodies. When the fiddles became frenzied, folky mosh pits formed, with country dancing replacing hair flicking and crowd surfing. Favourite songs such as Wagon Wheel , Tear it Down and Take 'em Away elicited particularly strong responses, so much so the fans demanded an encore, achieved through fierce foot stomping!

Old Crow Medicine Show conjured up a feel of authentic Americana with beautiful bluegrass, poignant lyrics, Southern twangs and do-sí-do inducing melodies on this late Summer evening - magic musical moments indeed.


*Just three days after this gig, OCMS were to be found opening for Mumford and Sons on a mini-European tour. That's a dream gig scenario!

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