Enjoyed a great gig by The Delines at The Tunnels in Bristol as the band began their UK tour having just returned from New Zealand and Australia. The show was supported by the band’s, and Willy Vlautin’s, Portland-based good friend Fernando Viciconte who played a fine acoustic set having returned to performing after a longish spell of being ill. Fernando was clearly very pleased to be playing, and he was a warm and enthusiastic person to talk with. His songs are largely intense personal stories sung with a powerful, emotive vocal that reminded me of Jimmy LaFave. You can hear one of his latest songs The Dogs here, and there are further downloads available here.
|Fernando at The Tunnels|
The Delines played a wonderfully engaging set including key tracks from their album Colfax, including Calling In, Colfax Avenue, The Oil Rigs at Night, State Line, Flight 31, and in the encore, I Won’t Slip Up [all reviewed here]. I don’t need to say much more really on how highly I rate these, but as with Vlautin’s other band Richmond Fontaine and their last album The High Country, on which Amy Boone also took the storytelling vocal - here - the despondency and [if it isn’t an exaggeration] everyday nihilism of the narratives are less foreboding when performed within the high spirits and band repartee of a live gig. This doesn’t in any way diminish the emotive impact when being sung live by Amy where they are in fact even more poignant. But as a live experience it is as uplifting as it is a touchstone to the power of consummate storytelling about the often harsh realities of our lives.