Four years gone in the blink of an eye. Well, technically two since the Good Lovelies last hit our shores with a short curtailed visit to promote their last album. However, you have to go back to 2013 when they previously played the West Midlands and that never to be forgotten gig at Star City. The curiosity of that show has grown over the years despite not even being present, although over an extended weekend of that tour their sets in Oxford and the Maverick Festival were both delightfully savoured. So in effect, this Kitchen Garden show rolled out as a renewed Birmingham debut and the Canadian trio succeeded in impressing fans, both new and old.
One aspect of the Good Lovelies that is inescapable is their organic roots DNA. It only took the second song of the evening for Sue to step up from her percussion role to lead on ‘Made for Rain’, which was close to defining the traditional leaning sound that formed the material housed within the 2011 album LET THE RAIN FALL. Also from this record, ‘Crabbuckit’ sounded as fresh as its first airing a number of years ago, delivered with the sole accompaniment of MJ Dandeneau’s stand-up bass. In a burgeoning role as one of Canada’s top ‘go-to’ touring bassists, MJ has reunited a previous stint of being the ‘fourth Lovely’ for this tour and continued to play an integral part of providing the framework for the songs to blossom.
As you would expect in an intimate Kitchen Garden gig, invited polite audience participation came to the fore, ranging from murmured interludes to the infectious lengthy chorus of ‘Lie Down’. Outside the aforementioned songs, ‘Daylight’ came across as a strong offering and ‘Waiting For You’ possessed a more stripped down feel than the version that was heavily promoted with the last album. The future was also not left out with the band announcing a new album set for release in the New Year, whilst giving an insight to its wares via the tracks ‘I See Gold’ and ‘This Little Heart’. The most positive promise of the evening was Kerri keen to not repeat the significant gaps between touring comprehensively, although expanding families has been a valid reason.
Knowing how to present a warm glow to an appreciative audience has long been a redeeming feature of the Good Lovelies. In the four years since last catching them live, none of the magnetism has faded. The songs continue to effortlessly breeze into a hushed zone and the often overused ‘less is more’ analogy has never been better suited than to the music that this band creates. Finally, if those harmonies can be bottled…