December 12, 2017
Shacklewell Arms, London
“We’ve got some singers in the room! Now that you’ve been dumb enough to share that with me…”
Liv Austen’s show at 229 the Venue was billed as the last show of the year, but with Austen it’s important to read the fine print. Turns out that was the last full band show; there was still time for a cheeky little duo set. Just down the road in Dalston! What was this, Christmas?! Yes. Yes it was.
Departing from recent songwriters’ round form, this was a grungy little venue. This proved beyond doubt that Austen sounds good anywhere, including a rock club setting. Really good.
Sadly, not everyone was aware that talking during a Liv Austen show is actually illegal. This didn’t stop her kicking off with a blistering version of the feisty track, Part-Time Sweetheart. Later, Detour showcased Austen’s vocal range. It was slow and deliberate with controlled and powerful head voice. Poignant but still sassy.
Whole Heart was a sweet, introspective number somewhat wasted on the talkative crowd. However, it turned out they just wanted to join in. There’d been inklings of that during the maddeningly catchy refrain of Same Story. Austen’s cover of Maroon 5’s Sugar sealed the deal.
So that’s how Austen won the crowd over, even getting them to sing along to one of 2017’s greatest songs, The Next Time. Nicely done, Austen.
There was time for one more song, Don’t Regret A Single One, ably backed by proficient guitarist Jon Wright, as always. It was not just a great way to end the show. It showed why Liv Austen is one to watch in 2018.
Liv Austen’s new single, Don’t Regret A Single One, is out now. Check it out at livausten.com. Don’t miss her at Country To Country festival. She’ll be playing all three days because somebody in scheduling at C2C is an absolute legend.
“It’s sweaty, innit?”
It soon became clear why the crowd was so excitable. Club Drive received the kind of reception usually reserved for boy bands. That level of fervour didn’t let up, and the band were certainly ready to play their part. The band members that weren’t relegated to under the arches on the small stage didn’t let the low ceiling stop them from leaping about and throwing rock moves as if it were a stadium show.
There was a touching tribute to Nikki, a fan who had recently died suddenly.
Other than that, the band was relentlessly energetic and upbeat. They took the opportunity to play new songs like Want It Bad Enough and You and I.
The fans certainly appreciated the sneak peek. Nonetheless, the frenetic all-singing, all-dancing love response was reserved for a deft medley of covers, including Nelly’s Ride Wit Me, plus Club Drive favourites like International. Nod to the Santana style guitar flourishes played high on the neck, and the vivid Maroon 5 vibe that ran throughout the set.
Find out more at clubdriveband.com
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