REVIEW: Brian Fallon at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Brian Fallon at The Wedgewood Rooms, November 27, 2016. Picture by Paul Windsor
Brian Fallon at The Wedgewood Rooms, November 27, 2016. Picture by Paul Windsor
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It was a happy crowd waiting to see New Jersey-born Fallon’s return to Portsmouth.

Most seemed to know every lyric to every song and sung along as his band, The Crowes, stretched out with their own brand of Americana.

Sometimes as gentle as a prairie breeze, sometimes roaring like in their song Hurricane, Fallon’s evocative, cracked voice sweeps with anthemic grace, propelling The Crowes on a long roadtrip across the expanses of the US.

Skilful and confident, his rockers and ballads tell classic tales of real life, failed loves, heartbreak, ungiven bouquets of flowers wilting on the car backseat, and long miles on the road with hangovers for company, capturing in sound the images of classic Edward Hopper canvases.

Brian loves to talk between songs, his wry humour tackling subjects such as ‘rock smoke’ (dry ice), the joys of strong coffee, Boy George and children.

The band pulled out some crowdpleasing tricks with an inpromptu Christmas song and an attempt at Blondie’s hit Maria. Whether playing soft acoustic solo songs or with the band at full tilt, it’s an intriguing night’s entertainment. If you missed him this time around, I’m sure he’ll be back. If you like such bands as Wilco or Grandaddy check out the records and prepare to take a long drive with Brian Fallon and the Crowes.