It was a balmy summer night that saw me heading into the city to the Amplifier Bar for a night of great local music. Relative new comers Our Man in Berlin opened proceedings in front of a reasonable early doors crowd. From the outset they played with both confidence and poise. Playing a set of folk tinged rock, the quintet put on a great performance, one that has me hunting down their debut split single. All in all, it was an atmospheric set, with plenty of flair and grand cinematic moments. The vocals were particularly impressive, notably for the rich harmonies. Our Man in Berlin are definitely a band to keep an eye on, there is definitely the potential there.
Next on stage were James Teague and his band, taking a break from the studio. With the band’s remarkable ability to go from rockabilly to introspective folk or indie rock, the set was a varied one, with Teague and his colleagues flitting between genres, showing off both their musicianship and Teague’s song-writing ability. The band had managed to pick up an extra member since I last saw them, though the line-up seems to be pretty fluid, with members taking to and leaving the stage. The added addition of the fiddle and mandolin gave a few of the songs an added countrified edge, leading to a few great hoedown moments.
Third on stage were three piece Wolves at the Door, who played a brooding and atmospheric set. Though a little repetitive towards the end, the band put on a solid performance to a surprisingly limited crowd. The set was characterised by heated and striking guitar fills and moody drumming. Though strong for the most part, the vocal performance was a little inconsistent with one of the voices getting lost in the mix more than the other. That being said, the vocal that I could hear fitted in perfectly with the atmosphere of the set, giving added intensity to the lyrics.
The evening’s headliners were Hang on St. Christopher, in full band mode. I have seen frontman Sean O’Neill play solo a few times now, but this was the first time that I had managed to see the whole band on stage together and, needless to say, they impressed. The bulk of the set was striking and typified by deft guitar playing, moments of lyrical beauty and the whole band’s remarkable musicianship. Even their mistakes, a self-proclaimed disastrous Wilco cover, are enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Hang on St. Christopher are a band to watch out for, they have the potential to be big. They already have the songs and the talent to go far.