[MUSIC/Folk ~ SA]
Main Room at The Gov, Sun 21 Mar.
Sitting waiting for Tom West and Band to begin (they began after support act St Jacques one hour after advertised starting time) it was enjoyable just to sit back and revel in the fact that Adelaide has just pulled off a miracle. We had indeed managed to stage a large five week festival that sold way beyond expectations during a global pandemic. A remarkable achievement.
Tom West does have a voice that at times resembles that high vulnerable range that Neil Young exploited in his Harvest days but he has a much wider range than that, and only uses the higher notes when its adds value – to his credit. His pleasing vocals comfortably deliver a solid bunch of songs that all had a very nice vibe about them. Odd that this show was billed as folk music. It could catch all kinds of labels – pop, country, country-rock, soft-rock, Indie, folk-rock – but it’s not folk music.
His six-piece band is accomplished, and I was happy when the banjo featured more prominently later in the set; it gives the band a point of difference. The same banjo player also served up some delightful lap steel in a couple of other songs. The woman on bass has a great voice for back-up vocals and contributes a great deal to the overall sound of the band.
West is, by his own admission, a shy person and due to a lack of recent performances, is out of practise with the whole stage patter thing but, his honesty was quite endearing.
It’s a good sound. The band are good to watch and all accomplished in their roles but the repertoire lacked knock-out punches. Not a bad song in the set but none that really made me sit up and pay extra attention either.