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Review: 'Sons of Bill / Carl Anderson'
'Omeara, London, 14th August 2018'   

-  Genre: 'Alt/Country'

Our Rating:
My first trip south of the river, my third SoB show and I was disappointed by neither.

These Virginia-harvested babes have created musical magic for several years now and after a 2year absence are back to market their latest masterpiece “Oh God Ma’am” – their back story has been written about plenty of times so I’m gonna skip it here and stick with the present. My decision is justified; SoB have a wow factor and it’s in full effect. Pedals and kit missing in transit brought undeniable stress to the start of the tour, but none of that dimmed the act’s shine, at least, there was nothing evident this evening. For them, the show must go on, and boy did it.

So, the venue; the Omeara is a hidden gem (shhh...) that is far more than your standard venue / bar expectation. An enviable bijoux labyrinth / wOnderland of socialising decadence where you are free to roam between bars, food areas and outside terrace with your drinks and food, upstairs and down, there are also plenty of nooks to settle into if mingling isn’t on your agenda. The room showcasing live events is a good size with perfect lighting and great acoustics. A cute arch spans the stage area; I have no idea if it is an original feature or a decorative addition – it doesn’t really matter, either way it adds emphasis to the stage, drawing the audience’s collective eye. On to the show...

Support was sublimely supplied by SoB buddy Carl Anderson, beautifully delivering gentle americana (assisted tonight by SoB Sam Wilson) music overlaid with (sometimes painful) truth-filled lyrics that resonate and weave their way into your soul. Their between-song banter which included the audience was, by juxtaposition, surprisingly witty, keeping the tone of the set pleasantly upbeat, a meld well accomplished by both Sam and Carl, and overall; the perfect opener for the main event.

After a short break Sam returned to the stage with his brothers James and Abe, and honorary tour-brothers Will (Honaker) and Harry (Miree) on bass guitar and drums respectively. Together this honed quintet delighted us with their powerful heartfelt delivery, blessing us with a soundtrack for surviving this Millennial life. For this night, this band made us forget our woes; this night we danced and we sang, we laughed, applauded and whooped, we hollered and cheered our way through the set comprised of both old favourites (‘Brand New Paradigm’, ‘Lost in the Cosmos (Song for Chris Bell)’, ‘Santa Ana Winds’, ‘Road to Canaan’, ‘Bad Dancer’, ‘Fishing Song’) and new beauties ‘Believer/Pretender’, ‘Firebird ‘85’, ‘Green to Blue’, ‘Good Mourning (They Can’t Break You Now)’, ‘Where We Stand’. It seemed the guys fed off the tangible vibe of happiness filling that room and bounced it back out to us, tenfold – their joy in performing their craft for such an appreciative audience was evident to all of us. About midway through, Carl was invited back to stage to add his vocals to good ol’ ‘Joey’s Arm’ – sweet! – before the Sons continued to the end of their impressive set. After loud demands for an encore, we were swiftly treated to a frankly brilliant Iron Maiden cover by Sam and James, followed by all five kicking the band’s signature ‘Virginia Calling’.

A more perfect evening of music you’d be hard pushed to find – however, there is still time to catch another potential SoB blinder as the tour rolls on, check the remaining dates over at
Sons of Bill Online
and I might even see you at one of them – I don’t wanna wait two years to see these babes again!
  author: Jess Robinson

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