Federal Charm opening tonight’s live entertainment at The Globe in Cardiff delivered a highly charged set that is the best I have heard them deliver, this young band is reaping the reward of 18 months of continuous touring. The quartet deliver a rocky sound drenched in the blues; as ever the interplay between the two guitarists, Nick Bowden & Paul Bowe takes centre stage it is this interaction and energy between them that helps to make this band stand out from the crowd along with some fine playing by the rhythm section LD Morawski (bass) and Danny Rig (Drums) keeping these live wires in control out front. The whole composure of the band has improved since last time I saw them play back in the summer and this means the music is better and the coped so well with annoying bassy feedback that they had now control over. They mixed the tempo and kept the flame of the blues alive among the rock chords with a great Tom Petty cover and slower songs such as Somebody Help Me, the sound is becoming more sophisticated with intricate guitar work and some stunning licks keeping the sound live and interesting.
The crowds though in the rapidly filling Globe, where here to see and listen to Black Crowes member Rich Robinson and his band, with a short break to set up equipment and light the incense they were entering the stage both from the left and the right; as a unique atmosphere was created on the stage; with the expectant crowd was reaching a frenzy of anticipation.
This was an opportunity for Black Crowes fans listen to Rick and his band up close and hear a selection of tracks live from his third solo studio album The Ceaseless Sight including the opening number Trail and Faith. The crowd was delighted this is what they wanted to hear live and the band was on fire with this high-octane number. We were treated too two Neil Young covers that suited the band as they delivered Down by the River and Lookout Joe the fans were delighted this was the music they wanted to hear and the roars grew as Rich seamlessly switched between his Les Paul and SG making the guitars sing to his tune.
We heard the intricate and catchy melodies within Down The Road and it was a glorious moment to listen to this live with a real demonstration of the skills of Rich Robinson writing with ‘Down the Road’ what a chorus line, This is living, a life worth living – No pressing motives, no calls to make. That sums up why going to live gigs is so magical you can immerse yourself into the music and live the moment. As some sublime guitar work, with hefty licks and refined riffs balanced by his subtle dead-pan vocals that made every word count a really masterful and accomplished performance.
The encore was inspired exciting and fresh and leaving everyone wanting more and more as they delivered a triplet of songs, Velvet Underground’s, Foggy Notion; double helping of Hendrix’ with, Up From The Skies and Spanish Castle Magic.