Brent Cobb with special guest Colter Wall
Wednesday 24th May 2017
The Borderline, London, United Kingdom
Country music and Americana is a genre that has worldwide universal appeal and in the past five years has really travelled throughout the UK. The annual Country 2 Country Festival (or C2C for short) takes place in London and Scotland now and has increased in size with more festival days, more acts and more venues being utilised for performance space.
If that wasn’t enough the same organiser of C2C have recently announced Country Music Week which takes place in London from 2-8 October. Acts already announced include Marty Stuart and His Superlatives and Kip Moore with special guests Drake White and The Big Fire so keep an eye out for that.
However, tonight was about rising star Brent Cobb who having sold out The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell, London earlier in the year had returned for a full UK tour. The Borderline show took place in the same week as the horrific Manchester Arena bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert and Brent Cobb actually played a headline show in Manchester the night before.
The sold-out crowd for Brent Cobb still came out to see the gig and did not want fear and terror to dictate their lives as otherwise they’ve won. The security checks were thorough at venue and well-handled and you do feel a bit safer with extra measures in place.
Anyway, back to the music. The opener was 21 year-old Colter Wall who had the audience on his side very early on with Jack Elliott’s ‘Railroad Bill’ and Woody Guthrie’s ‘Good Morning’. Very influenced by classic country artists such as Johnny Cash and Arlo Guthrie it is clear that Colter Wall respects the legends of the genre. He politely thanked those attending and received a rapturous applause in return.
After a short changeover, Brent Cobb walked onstage wearing a denim jacket and jeans and acoustic guitar in hand. He was joined by electric guitarist Mike Harris and they both kicked off proceedings with ‘South of Atlanta’ which Cobb explained “Here’s a song about my hometown”. The psychedelic electric guitar flowed seamlessly and was definitely in that early-Byrds style.
“We’ve gotta thank Texas Joe’s Barbecue for taking care of us!” Cobb smiled as he spoke fondly of a nearby restaurant they visited before the gig. ‘Digging Holes’ paints pictures in the mind with his lyrics whilst ‘Down In The Gulley’ and ‘Old S***’ (a co-write with Cadillac Three’s Neil Mason) had such funny backstories that you couldn’t help but smile.
Brent was genuinely chuffed when people began singing along with ‘Under The Moonshine’ but it was when he told us “I’m gonna play the song my daddy wrote when I was five. I was in Cleveland, Ohio and I saw snow for the first time.” The track is called ‘Country Bound’ and it is on his debut album ‘Shine On Rainy Day’. It was a heartfelt performance that really was a family affair as it was co-written by his father Patrick Cobb and produced by his brother Dave Cobb (producer for Rival Sons and the latest Zac Brown album amongst others).
He then started speaking in a London accent before commenting “I know y’all don’t like it when people do that!”
But it was the first song that he’d co-written with his best friend Andrew Combs, the album title track that showcased the sheer power and vintage quality in his voice. The structure of the track makes it sound like a lullaby as the crowd sang and swayed.
Mike Harris’s electric slide guitar solo on ‘Rain Come Down’ was crisp and full-bodied and let everyone know that you can create a full strong sound with just two people and two guitars.
In conclusion, Brent Cobb is a talented songwriter with great stage presence and he promised that he would return to the UK with his full band. I recommend purchasing his new album and finding out when he’ll be back because he is a breath of fresh country air in what some might call an over-saturated genre.
(Many thanks to Pete Sargeant and Chris Dean at Wilful Publicity for help with this review)
Brent Cobb’s debut album ‘Shine On Rainy Day’ is out now on Elektra/Atlantic Records.
For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2jYaEFj