Nathan Ball, Square Tower, review: ‘The audience hung on to his every word’ 

Nathan Ball was at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth. Picture: Paul Windsor.
Nathan Ball was at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth. Picture: Paul Windsor.

One does wonder what touring bands must think of when playing in a 16th century Tudor gunpowder store – it’s a truly remarkable venue with a lovely warm sound and atmosphere.

And, clearly the local residents have no worries about the noise as the walls are six-feet thick.

Tonight's latest Square Roots promotion is Tennessee-born country blues singer Nathan Bell. With only 60 people present at this long sold out show, it is as intimate as you could possibly be.

Once said to be the next Steve Earle, Nathan thankfully has returned to the music scene after a break. He gave an enthralling, spellbinding performance of gritty blue collar songs reflecting love, life, the environment and a dubious political choice made by his fellow countrymen.

Reminiscent of Woody Guthrie, even Springsteen at times, you could hear a pin drop, as the captivated audience hung on to his every word. The mood was lightened when Nathan proved to be an engaging raconteur with stories of his hometown and the day job as a guitar teacher.

The guitar strap proudly stated 'family man' and indeed his finest moments were his poignant tributes to his son, father and wife.

Once again it was a privilege to listen to Nathan, and I congratulate him and Square Roots for a wonderful show.