Ana Popovic at the Leeds Brudenell Social Club: Live Review
Words: Danny Thornton | Photos: Anthony Firmin
Its ManchesterRocks on tour tonight as we head to the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, a truly cracking establishment with three separate live rooms, reasonably priced drinks and vibe heavy working men's club décor - what a winning combination!
As we arrive Telecaster wielding Ben Poole is just wrapping up his set, some great sounds are coming of the stage but unfortunately we just miss out on catching him this time, a real shame as the band seem to have great energy and Bens guitar sound is brilliant, definitely need to catch this guy in the future!
Its 20:50 as tonight's main band take to the stage followed shortly by Ana Popovic herself beaming at the audience as the band launch into a ferocious instrumental that would make Stevie Ray Vaughan blush! This is followed by a couple of other songs which really set the tone for the performance.
Ana's band are a collection of brilliant musician's who never seem to miss a note, the rhythm section is rock solid and are perfectly complimented by the Nord keyboard gentleman who takes a few solo spots himself to great effect. The addition of a horn section is something I really like about Ana's music, and is an element to her sound which I feel gives it its own unique flavour.
A brilliant cover of the Tom Waits song New Coat Of Paint comes after, followed by some more original music demonstrating Ana's incredible slide playing and impressive vocal range, all the while the band add rock solid accompaniment and class to the proceedings.
While I'm here listening to it, my thoughts are of how amazing Ana's interpretation of blues rock is, the guitar playing (although original) is very much of the Texas ilk drawing inspiration from her hero Stevie Ray Vaughan while the band, and especially the horn section, give the overall feel more of a Chicago vibe, lathering everything in soul. It's really nice to hear somebody making a blues rock sound that is vibrant and fresh.
More originals follow including the title track from the new album Like It On Top, a true stand out of the night which sums up Ana's sound perfectly. Navajo Moon, a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, goes down a real treat too. Even after playing for over an hour and a half, complete with an encore, the crowd are left wanting more and as this is Ana's first UK tour in a decade hopefully this means we will get to see more of her in the future – we can only hope!