Larkin Poe at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Nashville-based band Larkin Poe have rock‘n’roll on the mind as they play their biggest headline show to date at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The four-piece, fronted by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, perform a selection of fan favourites from across their five studio albums, an electric fusion of feel-good rock with country flavour and a generous helping of blues.
There’s an energetic opening with She’s a Self Made Man, a natural crowd-pleaser that was released in lockdown and undeniably born for a stage like this. Even just one track in, it’s clear that lead singer Rebecca is an exceptional raw talent, with infallible vocals that somehow attack every tricky rocky edge with ease – particularly evident in songs like Trouble in Mind with magnetic vocal runs and self-proclaimed “jazzy ballad” Might as Well Be Me. The energy continues to build with effortless riffs on the electric guitar amplifying every track and instantly elevating the album listening experience. The addition of sisterly harmonies feels more effective live too.
Set highlights include Black Echo, which featured a special (though unexpected) guest appearance from none other than a shredding Keith Urban. The Grammy-nominated band also unveiled a yet-to-be-released track named Bad Spell that garnered an impressively thrilling reception, despite being brand-new. Perhaps one of the most powerful is Mad as a Hatter, showing a softer side with an emotional, anthemic ode to their grandfather who battled with mental illness. There are also a few scattered covers (although none from their latest covers album) from the likes of Blues singer Son House (Preachin’ Blues) and Robert Johnson’s Come on in My Kitchen as their encore.
Throughout the evening, it felt like the audience were in safe hands at a good old-fashioned rock gig. It felt comfortably controlled at times but by the time Larkin Poe performed Wanted Woman – AC/DC to close, it felt like there was nothing left to hold back. And, fortunately, the same could be said for the audience too.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit Larkin Poe’s website here.
Watch the video for the single She’s a Self Made Man here: