The Americans and William the Conqueror at the Sebright Arms
Uncle Sam came out in full force to the Sebright Arms, a popular East End pub, as William the Conqueror and The Americans, two bands heavily inspired by American folk and rock music, headlined Wednesday’s show.
If William the Conqueror seem a bit familiar, it’s because their lead singer Ruarri Joseph has had moderate solo success and has toured and released music for over ten years. The group consists of a trio of multi-instrumentalists, Ruarri Joseph, Harry Harding and Naomi Holmes. Despite William the Conqueror’s seven-hour journey from Cornwell to the Sebright Arms, you couldn’t tell they were fatigued. They’re a British band, but their fusion of Americana, country, folk and rock music make for beautiful harmonies, melodies and there is a toe-tapping catchiness to their songs. Tend to Thorns is a brilliant display of Joseph’s soulful, raspy and folky vocals. There was an ease and good humour from the trio and even if it was a short set their performance proved to be a good sign for their forthcoming debut album Proud Disturber of the Peace, which will be released on 4th August.
The Americans bring to the table music influenced by several eras in US music, from early Black gospel and blues right up to 70s blue collar rock music. Their foray into traditional American music hasn’t gone unnoticed – they make an appearance in the American Epic documentary series (produced by Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford), which focuses on recording techniques used in the States in the 1920s. When playing live their investment in music history is clear, as seen in their wonderful cover of Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt by Evangelist Singers, which was originally released in 1946.
Frontman Patrick Ferris belts out songs with strong rock’n’roll vocals to terrific and authentic country/rockabilly sounds. For the first half of their set, The Americans deliver a rousing and captivating performance, as highlighted in the stunning Foreign Land. However, the second half might have benefitted from more diversity as the tracks became slightly repetitive. Overall, they are a good band to see live and hopefully as they develop a broader discography this would become less of an issue. Their upcoming album, I’ll Be Yours, will be released on 7th July and with their introspective lyrics and cool homage to traditional American music, it looks to be a promising release.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information about The Americans visit here.
For further information about William the Conqueror visit here.
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