Samantha Fish at Band On The Wall: Live Review
Words: Danny Thornton | Photos: Chris Galvin
Tuesday night sees us at the historic Band On The Wall to catch Samantha Fish's sold out show on an uncharacteristically hot and sunny May Manchester evening. Tonight we are lucky enough not only to be in attendance at the show, but also to be granted an interview with Miss Fish herself which you can read HERE!
We can tell this show is going to be a good one…
Support for the evening is provided by Curse of Lono a band riding high from the large amount of critical acclaim they have garnered from both the debut album Severed and current release As I Fell; even managing to be crowned Emerging Artist winners at this year's Americana Awards.
If I'm honest I find them quite a strange choice of opening act for the evening, the music is rootsy and bluesy with heavy helpings of Americana but a lot darker is subject matter and overall timbre.
They started out a little slow for my taste but they did draw me in as the set progressed. Welcome Home was a standout track with lyrics deeply personal to singer/guitarist Felix Bechtolsheime. The addition of a Tom Waits cover in the form of Going out west was also a highlight for me.
I found Curse of Lono to be a real mixed bag, as some of their songs had a real atmosphere but some failed to really fill the room with energy, perhaps these guys would sound better in a more intimate, moody setting? They are returning to the Band On The Wall on 10th October as headliners so we will find out more about them then.
A long intermission follows, almost too long as it is so hot this evening, with audience members sitting down at the back waiting for tonight's main performance when finally Samantha Fish takes to the stage.
The atmosphere immediately changes as soon as she and her band hit the stage. Straight off the bat they get the audience clapping and the energy levels go all the way up to 10 as Ms Fish confidently struts around the stage with her white Gibson SG and an amazing 50's-esque hair style, what a great look!
The set is as interesting as it is diverse with Samantha Fish constantly swapping between acoustic, where she plays some really great blues (I even heard a couple of very Robert Johnson style runs in there) to electric, and even her cigar box guitar, all of which helps keep the set moving and maintains the excitement. Speaking of guitars, I especially loved it when she played her Fender Jaguar - that thing sounded awesome!
New song Love Letters Is a stand out for me showcasing Samantha Fish's brilliant slide playing and saucy soulful vocals while the band hang back not intruding on the music but more providing a great solid foundation. Watch It Die, another new song, is also a show stopper that I haven't been able to get out of my head since. Special mention goes out to keyboard player Phil Grant who does an extra special job of adding embellishments to the songs with soulful keys and organ parts and even taking a few solo spots for himself.
Another highlight was Blood On The Water serving as a great snapshot for what this band does so well. Samantha's soulful, show stealing vocals taking centre stage paired beautifully with her stunning ability on the guitar, while the band, although solid, never overstep their mark.
As the encore comes to a close we are left impressed by the professionalism and of the band, and how much talent Samantha Fish has, not only as a guitar player but also as a singer and song writer. Her abilities are well beyond her age and I honestly can't wait to watch her grow as an artist.