Dan Baird w/Federal Charm @ Academy 3
Dan Baird & Homemade Sin w/Federal Charm @ Academy 3
Six weeks of solid touring with Joanne Shaw Taylor has made Federal Charm tight, really tight. I saw them at the Sale Waterside a few weeks prior to this show, the launch day for the new album and they were good then but they are even better now. They featured tracks from Across The Divide, Hercules being absolutely spot on perfect.
Nick Bowden’s vocals were still on target and there was some stunning lead guitar work from Paul Bowe too. The last song of the night, Silhouette, being a personal favourite was just as good as everything else. There was a fair sized crowd at the start of their set but by the end the venue was packed and they certainly showed their appreciation to the band. The tease of a Christmas show excited a fair percentage of the crowd, and the band made sure we knew they local boys done good, mentioning it several times… good old Stockport!
Headliner Dan Baird, with his large grey top hat and equally large stage presence delivered his country infused blues rock. It is not so much Southern rock, it is more honest than that; it is cowpunk, redneck punk or alt-country with a sound and style that sets him apart from many of his contemporaries.
During the 80’s Baird was lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Georgia Satellites and he still features a handful of their songs in the set. And there isn’t really a setlist as such proving his shows are more fluid and individual. Hisis band is good too, Warner E. Hodges playing some blinding solos on his Les Paul along with a solid rhythm section of Micke Nilsson on bass and another ex-Georgia Satellite Mauro Magellan on drums.
To be honest, I had mainly come to see Federal Charm and I am not a huge fan of Dan Baird’s style of music. But he kept the older crowd bobbing along all the way through and I doubt there was anyone else who was not enjoying it. I couldn’t help but be impressed by his dedication and the effort he and his band put in. They played all the way up to the curfew, no encores, as Baird explains it’s a waste of time going off, I could squeeze another song in and he did!
Photographs and words: Anthony Firmin