Larkin Poe @ Gorilla, Manchester, 17 Mar

Bluegrass sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell bring the noise to Manchester as Larkin Poe turn their amps up to 11

Live Review by Alan O'Hare | 21 Mar 2019
  • Larkin Poe

Elvis Costello loves Larkin Poe. He's always been one of the biggest music fans in the business, and he's also a bit of an Americana buff – he was ahead of the game when he asked the brilliant Rebecca and Megan Lovell to tour with him a few years back.

All that time spent around The Imposters and Costello's famous Fender Jazzmaster has clearly had an influence on the duo from Atlanta, Georgia: they're now bringing the noise to back up the wonderful musicianship and heavenly harmonies that helped them stand out from the pack in the first place.

Larkin Poe dropped fourth album Venom & Faith late last year and it's been the road ahead for the Lovell sisters and their band ever since. Lap steel guitar, fuzz bass, banging drums and precise powers chords from lead singer Rebecca's Stratocaster dominate the startling sound that reverberates around a sold-out Gorilla on a wet Sunday night. They really do make a racket to rock everyone in the room – there's dirty blues workouts, slow-jam soul and four to the floor rock'n'roll to get feet tapping and hearts moving.

The singing is devastating. From whispers to screams, the Lovells leave it all on the stage as the set creeps towards the 90-minute mark. Covers of The Band's Ophelia, Son House's Preachin' Blues and Americana classic John the Revelator all help contribute to a celebratory atmosphere. And why not? A sold-out show on a Sunday night is nothing to be taken for granted and Larkin Poe are clearly revelling in the strength and support offered by a crowd who hang on their every word and note.