If you see any suspicious behaviour, then please report it to station staff or the police. How many gigs have you ever been to where you get such an announcement? But it happened to Rival Sons last night (Thursday, December 8). Why? Read on
Words: Malcolm Dome
Right by the departure gate for the Eurostar, and under a Lego Christmastree, Rival Sons perform what could possibly be the strangest gig of their career to date. Perhaps the oddest one theyll ever do. They are deep in Londons St. Pancras International Station, on a makeshift stage, doing a 25-minute acoustic set.
No, this isnt a blatantly illegal attempt at getting publicity, Its part of the Secret Sessions series of free intimate performances organised by the station in conjunction with Shelter. And Rival Sons certainly rise to the occasion.
Apart from a significant number of devotees surrounding the stage, the band attract interest from commuters passing by on their way homeor to other assignations. Comments range from Are they famous? to Are they are folk band? and Should I have heard of them?, but everyone of the passengers snaking past seems impressed with what they hear. And theres a reason. Because in this environment, without any comfort zone, this band prove their class.
The musicianship is composed, stylish and accomplished, while Jay Buchanans vocal charisma is riveting. Stripped down to the bone, Rival Sons are stunning, as acoustic versions of songs likeBurn Down Los Angeles prove they are real deal. No gimmicks, no effects, no hype. Just great music played by excelling talents, and raising moneyfor a worthy charity, as coins flip into passing buckets..
In one way, this is the biggest headlining gig theyve ever done. Because if you count up the number of people in the vast expanse of station as the foursome hit their stride, then it must match a capacity arena crowd. Yes, that is a little disingenuous, but have no doubt that Rival Sons will be arena headliners soon.
One of the bands of 2011, they could become the band of 2012.