It may well be a cold winter’s night in Nottingham, but there is somewhat of a southern heat brewing inside Rock City. Following an upgrade from The Rescue Rooms, the venue is packed to the rafters for a sold out concert from blues-rock band Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Following their new found popularity in 2015, the US based seven piece are in the midst of their first major tour of the UK, and are wowing crowds already with their soul shaking shows.
For those who do not know of the band’s origins; Nathaniel Rateliff is a singer-songwriter from Missouri, who spent much of his early career creating broody folk records. In 2013, his music took an old school Rhythm & Blues direction, and he was joined by a group of musicians who have since become known as ‘The Night Sweats’; hence the collective was born.
Back to tonight, and the band launch with crowd pleasing opener I Need Never Get Old. The brass-infused upbeat song has echoes of the Soul and Motown sounds from the 1960s, which is hardly surprising considering that the band released their recent self titled debut album on the legendary label Stax Records. This track proves a perfect party starter as the audience are soon in a great mood dancing around.
The band’s energetic performance continues throughout the next few songs, until they cool things down a for the mellow waves of I’ve Been Failing and Howling At Nothing; the latter of which would be the perfect accompaniment to drinks with friends outside on a hot summer’s evening. Later, the band strip back their performance on the wonderfully hazy Shake in order to showcase Nathaniel’s gravelly soulful vocals and some perfect harmonies from the other members. It is a wonderful moment, which really makes the audience stop what they are doing and listen.
Closing the evening with S.O.B; it is clear from the constant clapping and singing that this is by far the band’s most popular track. The chanting of the “Get me a drink” chorus even continues from the audience after the band have left the stage. The song proves a joyous moment; which sees not only band, but the entire room collaborating in an almost gang-like unity. Everyone is well rewarded afterwards too, as the band return to perform their encore for the night; a well received cover of The Shape I’m In.