The Hooten Hallers at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth REVIEW: ‘A sexy, earthy swagger'

The Hooten Hallers at The Square Tower, November 23, 2019. PIcture by Paul Windsor
The Hooten Hallers at The Square Tower, November 23, 2019. PIcture by Paul Windsor
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After their storming support slot with The Dead South at The Pyramids earlier this year it was no surprise to hear that Missouri-based trio The Hooten Hallers were swiftly booked for their own headline show at The Square Tower.

The gig quickly sold out.

The Hooten Hallers at The Square Tower, November 23, 2019. PIcture by Paul Windsor

The Hooten Hallers at The Square Tower, November 23, 2019. PIcture by Paul Windsor

At the band’s request this was a standing show – the first for Square Roots promotions at the tower, so there a different, dynamic feel for the evening.

Like most visiting American bands they were in awe of their surroundings in the 16th century former gunpowder store which made for an explosive (sorry, couldnt resist it) performance.

And they thanked the crowd or the biggest turnout of the tour.

Lead singer's John Randall gritty vocals were akin to a mix of gargling Tom Waits and John Lee Hooker if you can imagine that. His guitar playing meanwhile, is a diverse mix of blues, country, punk and rockabilly that reflected in the audience tonight. Its a heady mix for sure, rounded off by his supreme talents on the lap steel guitar.

The star of the show for me, though, is baritone saxophonist Kellie Everestt who plays the hefty instrument with a sexy, earthy swagger providing the band with their unique sound.

For those who missed out tonight, I can assure you missed a treat.

Make sure you have your finger on the buzzer for tickets when they make a welcome return in what will undoubtedly be a bigger venue.