In the main the bands we choose are unheard of to us. We pick a few potential dates and then hit YouTube to size up the potential bands. After about four bars of Green Eyes and Heart of Gold, The Lone Bellow was a winner.
Hailing from Brooklyn, the three piece of Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin and Brian Elmquist were joined by support on bass and drums to fill up the small stage at Oran Mor and made the performing area appear as busy as the venue floor itself.
After a sterling set from support Small Glories (a two piece from Canada) The Lone Bellow came out to a rapt reception from a surprisingly mature crowd. And it was clear right away we were in for a special gig.
Singer Zach Williams range is outstanding and he engaged with the crowd superbly well. Songs like Marietta and Telluride were impeccably performed but there were two extremes; high tempo numbers like Heaven Don’t Call Me Home and Cold As It Is attracted elongated applause but real quality order was given during acoustic songs and silence descended to meet them.
The two highlights for me were the brilliant voice of Kanane Donehey Pipkin during Call to War and the fantastic Then Came The Morning which featured the crowd on backing vocals, brilliantly coerced and cajoled by Williams.
A quick encore and sing-a-long of the Simon and Garfunkel classic Slip Sliding Away ended another fantastic gig and has already set the bar high for 2017.