This gig was all about introductions as newly convened Anglo country rock supergroup Bennett Wilson Poole made their first live foray to Scotland, showcasing their eponymous debut album from start to finish at this sweaty Glasgow Americana Festival show.
Bennett Wilson Poole, Glad Cafe, Glasgow ****
Yet the core trio of singer-guitarists have all graced stages in this parish before, some more recently than others: Robin Bennett in UK Americana Award-winning The Dreaming Spires, Danny Wilson fronting both Grand Drive and Danny and the Champions of the World and Tony Poole of 70s folk rockers Starry Eyed and Laughing, who last played in Glasgow 43 years ago but has lost none of his dexterity on his trusty Rickenbacker (bought from future T Rex Steve Peregrin Took in 1967), embellishing the songs with bursts of Byrds, Beatles and Roy Orbison riffs as a taste of what was to come.
The frontmen – and their rhythm section – are natural-born harmonisers, elevating pleasant roots pop material with a Crosby, Stills and Nash scope, while still allowing space for the individual writers to shine.
Their lineage was transparent, including shades of Teenage Fanclub’s rootsier moments, but the highlights were the angrier interludes such as acid country rocker Hate Won’t Win, inspired by and dedicated to murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, with its soulful a capella breakdown, the expansive Jefferson Airplane trip of Lifeboat (Take a Picture of Yourself) and their response to the country over the water which supplied most of their influences, I Want to Love You But I Can’t Right Now. - Fiona Shepherd