Birmingham 02 Academy
Starting tonight’s proceedings are Birmingham’s own soul trio New Street Adventure, self confessed fans of the very man they’re supporting and definitely a soul band. Singer Nick Corbin relentlessly drills the crowd with the fact they’ve left their old set of rebel rousing rants at modern day social fuck wits and cock sure bar men behind and are now on a new soul inspired route to the top.
The dashes of colloquial fun poking and jib jabbery from Corbin show this is a band with their finger on the pulse and to say they’re a soul band is true but it’s not in the familiar sense. They’ve stuck to their roots and remain a three piece giving them the raw edge you don’t necessarily get from your typical soul band and the swooping harmonies, flowing bass licks and snappy drums all show a serious progression in style and substance for New Street Adventure. Plus, a well executed cover of Bill Whithers’ ‘Use Me’ is always appreciated.
After last year’s release of the soul inspired motown debut, ‘A Strange Arrangement’, Mayer Hawthorne is at last on English soil. As he takes to the stage the small crowd swells in the intimate surroundings and are immediately catapulted into ‘Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’ with Hawthorne playfully swinging a tambourine and jiving to his own catchy melodies. It’s dancing music and the crowd dutifully respond with a hip swinging splendour which gives the show an electricity from start to finish.
The former rap producer plugs through most of his debut album with a faster and more upbeat groove, aided by his un-erring band (the County) and an excellent rendition of Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’.
Tonight’s show displays a true and versatile talent in all its glory. With this being the last show on an impressive 25 dates in 30 nights tour Mayer Hawthorne still seems to be hitting top gear while still letting the sentiment fall from his sleeve...a night for the soul.