Even though I am a music lover of varied eclectic influences, bands performing live in bars has never really been included in my list of loves - until I heard Lincoln-based band Albany perform at The Rogue Saint on Friday evening (July 1).
I was initially introduced to some of Albany’s music via their EP and I was left feeling unsure if this was really the type of musical vibe I could get into.
But as soon as Albany kicked off their set to an almost-filled bar and the initial instrumentals came in from drummer Dan Sharratt, which followed with skilled playing from the bass, Chris Fletcher and finally the two guitarists Daniel McLagan and Matt Duke, I wasn’t expecting the musical talent that followed.
For a split second, I instantly forgot about everything else going on in my head and I was hooked on what I was hearing.
The pure brilliance of their playing took me by surprise and I thought, ‘yeah these guys can actually play.’
Hearing them play live certainly gave them the justice they deserved and made me realise why so many millions of people flock to see their favourite bands perform every year.
Matt Duke then took the lead with the vocals and I was determined to get the very best out of the lyrics I was hearing, so I turned around, making sure I heard every word and whilst doing this, all I could see were people’s heads going up and down in approval too.
The crowd were really enjoying the performance that was going down before them.
There was even some serious guitar shredding going on in the middle of their songs.
From start to finish, the songs that Albany were presenting kept me wanting more, intrigued to see which way their fine instruments would carry the mood next.
Now I am sure everyone will agree that you will not like every song a band performs, myself included on that night.
But the overall majority of the material I was hearing, I really enjoyed.
It gave me a new found appreciation for music I never thought I would possess.
An enjoyable change also came in the middle of their set when the music was stripped back to basics and the acoustics came to the forefront.
It was at this point where Matt’s vocals really shined through.
Yes there may be an influence in their music from The Verve and Oasis, but these guys still deserved the applause they were receiving for the original work they were presenting.
It always takes guts to bring forward new material, not heard before.
Yes they may have a bit of work to do to have their style come completely together to become fully original and not a copy of someone else’s influence, but with their talent alone, it is certainly something that can be worked on.
The potential is certainly there already, along with their raw grit in sounds and love for music.
The best part of the evening for me, was seeing that this quartet never once took themselves too seriously and really enjoyed their passion, making music, with each one bringing their own talent to the table.
Dan Sharratt’s drumming skills were second to none, not like anything I had heard for some time. Daniel McLagan’s guitar playing complemented Matt’s completely, both being so in sync with their playing and pulling out some incredible solo’s.
And we end with bass Chris Fletcher, bringing it all together to bring forward a band to be reckoned with.
With a crowd of people coming forward to dance at the end, it proved that the guys had done their jobs right that night, pulling off a fantastic performance to remember.
It will be one I will not forget for a while, and a decision made for me to continue my musical education on bands and who I may now follow in the future.
I am sure that the name Albany will be cropping up across the country in the months that follow, so others, like me can enjoy the raw talent they bring to the table, worthy of a slot in today’s music industry.