Jared James Nichols plus special guests Buck and Evans and Dave Hanson Band
Tuesday 23rd June 2015
The Black Heart, Camden, London, United Kingdom
This show was the first of three intimate UK club shows for Jared James Nichols, a Wisconsin-born, Los Angeles-based singer, writer and guitarist. He was promoting his new album ‘Old Glory and the Wild Revival with a visit to The Black Heart in the centre of Camden (the venue won Best Live Music in the UK at the Music Week Awards in 2014).
Before his headline set though we were treated to a performance by the Dave Hanson Band. Dave Hanson was originally a member of a band called The Dunwells who had performed around the world and performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His new band are a four-piece based in Leeds and they are releasing their new EP ‘New Tricks’ this summer. One key track in the set was ‘Midday Sun’ which had laidback lyrics and a garden party vibe that the crowd loved. New single ‘Blind Faith’ has vocals that remind me of The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ as Hanson’s large black phantom of the opera type hat bobbed up and down. If you like acts like Storyville and clever lyrics then definitely check out The Dave Hanson Band as they are touring the UK this year and they also have an appearance at The Cornbury Festival in July as well. For more information visit: http://www.guitarhanson.com/
The next act was Buck and Evans, an outfit from Cardiff, Wales who have been promoted as: ‘Imagine if Eric Clapton sat with Mama Cass, or Joe Bonamassa with Ann Wilson, or Stevie Ray Vaughan sat with Adele.’ Those are some ‘big’ comparisons to say the least, so I was intrigued to see how they approached their set. Lead vocalist Sally Ann Evans is clearly influenced by Joss Stone but I found myself at times feeling like she was trying to be a carbon copy of Joss. ‘Say My Name’ had some really funky bass from Dominic Hill and drummer Bob Richards which showed that the rhythm section for Buck and Evans was tight. Lead guitarist Chris Buck chewed gum and looked like he was waiting for a bus before breaking out the guitar solos. I understand why Buck and Evans have a solid fanbase as Chris Buck is a very technically skilled player but the songs in the set to me, were quite average. The solos released Buck’s inner Jack White and I suppose as I’m not a heavy Jack White/White Stripes fan it probably was going to miss me. I would like to hear some other material from them in the future though and I know that they are appearing at Ramblin Man Fair in Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent in July this year so I shall return to them then. For more information visit: http://www.buckandevans.com/
During the interval I was fortunate to meet Jared and he is one of the friendliest and coolest guys in the music business I’ve ever met. He really is grateful for the support he receives and from what I could see isn’t dismissive in anyway. After this meeting I was ready for his set as were the rest of the audience. He wore a black cowboy hat and a denim jacket without sleeves with matching jeans and some funky cowboy boots. With a black Gibson guitar round his shoulder and the Blackstar Amps turned up the band was set. They kicked the show off with ‘Blackfoot’ with Jared’s really strong lead vocals in the rock-power trio format and the song is well-written. ‘Get Down’ was a fun song that you wanted to dance to.
‘Never In My Life’ showcased the talent of Erik Sandin (bass) and Dennis Holm and had hints of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’. The new single ‘Let You Go’ had a really catchy hook that radio will love. Then they set into ‘Crazy’ (Jared worked with the Jimi Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer on this track) and I thought it was a song that Prince or Lenny Kravitz decided not to use. It was that dirty rock funk sound and as Jared head banged he had to move his hair out of his eyes due to its length (a quick sidenote: Jared James Nichols has some incredible hair as well).
A highlight in the set was ‘Can You Feel It?’ which had people moving and singing the chorus throughout whilst we were able to see Jared’s slide guitar skills on Robert Johnson’s ‘Come On In My Kitchen’ which was an extremely entertaining version. ‘Playin’ For Keeps’ just reaffirms his talents to the London crowd as he walks offstage and into the middle of the crowd whilst still playing with complete ease. His stage presence is phenomenal and with his special guest slot on Glenn Hughes’s UK and European tour just announced, I know that audiences around the world are going to go ‘crazy’ for Jared James Nichols especially if you like Gary Clark Jr, Deep Purple, ZZ Top or Ted Nugent. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Words: Glenn Sargeant
Visuals: Kieran White
Monday 19th October – The Waterfront, Norwich, United Kingdom
Tuesday 20th October- The Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Thursday 22nd October- Limelight, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Friday 23rd October- The Garage, Glasgow, Scotland
Sunday 25th October- Picturedrome, Holmfirth, United Kingdom
Monday 26th October- Robin 2, Bilston, United Kingdom
Wednesday 28th October- Fibbers, York, United Kingdom
Thursday 29th October- Club Academy, Manchseter, United Kingdom
Sunday 1st November- The Electric Ballroom, London, United Kingdom
Jared James Nichols new album ‘Old Glory and the Wild Revival’ is out now on Listenable Records. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/Jaredjamesnichols