Updated: Saturday, 24th March 2018 @ 6:02am

Gig review: Lucero @ Deaf Institute, Manchester

Gig review: Lucero @ Deaf Institute, Manchester

| By Kelly Johns

Performing tracks from all of their previous albums and EPs, this was the first time that Lucero had performed in Manchester since releasing their Texas & Tennessee EP last year.

Starting the set with a common opening track choice, That Much Further West, the sell-out crowd of die-hard fans packed into Deaf Institute were fired up for a night of singing along and jigging.

The band set off together on stage, glugging  whiskey – which many of the crowd were also partaking in – and seemingly having no set list as such, the Memphis boys plucked requests from the crowd and were more than happy to play favourites such as Bikeriders, Nights Like These, and a particularly raucous Chain Link Fence.

The striking performance of their country cover of Jawbreaker’s Kiss the Bottle was undeniably brilliant and certainly a high point of the evening.

The second part of the set saw the band downsize to Ben Nichols and pianist/accordionist Rick Steff.

The front row girls swooned over Ben, allowing themselves to be serenaded by his raspy vocals, especially during one of the set highlights with the performance of The War.

Toadvine from Ben’s quite brilliant solo album, The Last Pale Light in the West (released in 2009), also managed to sneak a spot in the track listing.

The evening had certainly taken a more emotional turn.

It was heart-warming to see all the fans that filled the quirky venue that evening linking arms and singing the words to every story-telling lyric.

The band then re-joined Ben and Rick on stage, rounding off the show with Drink ‘Til We’re Gone and Like Lightening.

It would be rude not to mention the fantastic support from Sam Russo.

The acoustic punk silenced the audience with his tales and captivating vocals.

The frontman mentioned that the band had a wild night out in Manchester the last time they visited the UK, and couldn’t really remember anything of the city.

Hopefully the fans gave them something to remember this time and every attendee would agree that they won’t be forgetting this evening in any hurry.

Once again, this was a display which shows that the Lucero rollercoaster is far from slowing even after 15 years dedicated to country-punk.

Image courtesy of Neff Conner, with thanks