Larkin Poe at the Sebright Arms
Hailing from Georgia USA, four-piece Larkin Poe match bluesy folk-rock with pop sensibilities. Their sound features a range of influences, fluctuating between chunky guitar riffs with Wolfmother-esque breakdowns and softer mid-tempo numbers that bring to mind the likes of KT Tunstall and Katie Melua.
The band is fronted by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell (the former on lead vocals and guitar, the latter on harmony vocals and guitar). Rebecca’s voice is strong and the pair harmonise well at times, however the performance as a whole was far from perfect; on the first song the pair were noticeably out of tune, and they later had technical trouble with a looping effect that wouldn’t stop looping (although this would have gone largely unnoticed had the frontwoman not announced the problem in the middle of the song).
The highlight was several blistering guitar solos from Megan, which drew raucous cheers from the crowd of 40-somethings, who were otherwise reserved and generally static throughout the gig. The venue seemed appropriate as despite having released five EPs of their own material the group felt very much like a pub band, as is often the case with artists who work within the confines of a very well-established genre without bringing anything new to the table. Their technical ability is noteworthy, but their shortcomings are tied up with a lack of artistic vision and a failure to engage with the audience emotionally. In a song that deals with the delicate subject matter of their grandfather’s struggle with schizophrenia, the pair sing “mind over matter, you’re mad as a hatter” over melancholy strings – here the potential emotional impact of the song is undermined by the levity of the lyrics, which fail to puncture the surface of a heartfelt sentiment.
Larkin Poe show potential, but have a long way to go before they make any real contribution to a heavily saturated genre; a difficult task by any measure.
Photos: Charlotte Allen
For further information and future events visit Larkin Poe’s website here.