It may have taken them ten years to get to their first headlining British tour, but The Pierces wowed the crowd with a stunning set.
A raucous atmosphere at The Ruby Lounge greeted the Alabama-born sisters, whose latest album You and I hit the charts at #4, and they hit their stride immediately with ‘Love You More’, full of growling guitars and soaring vocals.
The set – largely made up of songs from the new album, including latest single ‘Glorious’ and Radio 2 A-listed ‘You’ll Be Mine’ – was eagerly lapped up by a varied audience of fresh-faced pop fans, grizzled rock veterans… and even the odd metal maniac.
Such a wide mix reflects the astonishing breadth of material in The Pierces repertoire, from plaintive love songs like ‘It Will Not Be Forgotten’ to powerful stomp of ‘Kissing You Goodbye’, via country-tinged ‘Sticks and Stones’ and darkly comic fan favourite ‘Secret’.
With a solid and skilled band behind them the sisters strutted their stuff magnificently, with guitar-wielding Alison a powerful presence alongside Catherine’s hypnotic dancing enrapturing the audience.
Finding a highlight of such a consistently excellent set-list is hence highly tricky – and as Salty, Zoe and the mad Scouse ladies at the front would argue, everyone has their own personal favourites – but one was certainly ‘We Are Stars’, a sucker-punch of a ballad that brilliantly shows off their trademark harmonies.
A confident performance was illustrated by the lively banter with the audience, most clearly with a bit of gentle ribbing before introducing the final song ‘Boring’, and then bringing the house down with a nonchalant, rocky and oh-so-cool rendition.
It wasn’t just The Pierces who grabbed the attention, though, as an unusually strong pair of up-and-coming acts provided fantastic support, setting the scene for such a triumphant night.
First up was Liverpudlian blues/country singer Delta Maid, whose polished pieces of precision song-writing from debut album Outside Looking In were backed up with her sweet singing and accomplished acoustic accompaniment. She must have strong fingers the way she slapped her guitar, and if she builds on her promising debut they’ll only get more of a workout.
The show then went from unplugged country to livewire rock as Alice Gold took to the stage with her excellent backing band. On this evidence her forthcoming Glastonbury appearance could see her album Seven Rainbows, out on July 4, soundtrack many people’s summers – ‘Runaway Love’ and ‘Cry Cry Cry’ are, in a good way, almost impossible to lodge from your head.
The quality of the support gave The Pierces the perfect platform to storm the Ruby Lounge, and it was an opportunity they didn’t miss. There’s not many better ways to spend a tenner.
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