|The Stanfields - London, Highbury Garage - 23rd September 2013|
|Written by Mark Taylor|
|Friday, 11 October 2013 03:20|
Never heard of The Stanfields? Nope me neither. So when I got the invite from their PR girl to take me out on a Monday night to watch this band who none of us so called rock journo experts had heard off, I thought she was 'aving a giraffe. However she reminded me she’d thrust a CD into my hands a few weeks earlier saying ''Marky boy, you will love this.'' and you know what after tonight I must say the lass was right.
Now, The Stanfields came from Halifax, no not the grim Yorkshire town of Blighty, but from Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, a land that has been fought over by the Brits, Yanks, Dutch and the French. However If you think that just because The Stanfields are Canadian that they're going to sound like Loverboy or Bryan Adams then you're totally drifting in the wrong canoe.
You see Nova Scotia is actually Latin for New Scotland and there is apparently a major Gaelic influence in those parts as there is in the sound of The Stanfields, a band who wear flat caps and lumberjack shirts whose members consist of a mandolin player and another who plays the bouzouki (a Greek instrument that is a lower pitch than a mandolin, if you must know pleckers) backed by the balls of a heavy rock outfit. The singer sounds like Ricky Warwick and the music is akin to the Dropkick Murphys and the opening song tonight 'Mrs McGrath' has a chorus that goes ''Too-rye-aye-fiddley-aye'' ... Need I say anymore Uber Rockers? You got the picture. Now go grab yourself a can of Molsen and read on.
Formed in 2008 The Stanfields have actually released two albums already with 'Vanguard Of The Young And Reckless' coming out in 2010 and last year’s 'Death & Taxes' has seen the band win a strong fan base both in North America and in Germany where the band were heading a day after this gig to play at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg.
Tonight is the band’s debut UK show and for The Stanfields it must be a bit like going back to square one and starting all over again performing to a sparse but highly enthusiastic crowd with one fan who discovered the band on YouTube making the trip all the way down from Weston-Super-Mare who then held court all evening singing to every word.
A party atmosphere was in order and the aforementioned opener 'Mrs McGrath' hit the right spot as did the beer that complimented the music or vice versa....hic! Front man Jon Landry has a different persona on stage belching out these beer swilling anthems such as the mighty 'Run On The Banks' which see our West Country friend taking up all the room on the floor which his arms out stretched in full admiration of these rocking strummers.
‘Ghost Of The Eastern Seaboard' is a heart string puller very much in the vein of The Boss himself Mr Bruce Springsteen. New track 'Up The Mountain' has a mate hugging feel. The artillery attack of 'Ship To Shore' is a big hit in te making obviously because it makes one girl in my party immediately jump on the back of some poor chap for a piggy back dance.
Ending with a riotous 'Dirtiest Drunk (In The History Of Liquor)' everybody in the Garage was smashed and trashed. I think they did 'Death & Taxes' as an encore but I was past caring by then. Job done. I was completely bowled over.
The Stanfields would make a perfect festival band with their good time music, which sometimes has a more serious lyrical message and undercurrent. A new acoustic mini album is out on October 15th named 'For King And Country', but I’d actually suggest you check out their first two albums first to hear what the band are really about.
Photography by Kevin Gras