Robert Chaney - The Honky Tonk Stage - The Long Road
The unenviable job of following Jessie Buckley fell to Robert Chaney, and in his own way, he and his high octane band produced something equally stunning in somewhat of a blink and you missed it 6 song set. Robert a tall figure in ripped jeans led the way on electric guitar, but there was also a pedal steel player, a keyboard player who also doubled up on tambourine as well as providing backing vocals and a drummer.
The set began with "Agony", which gave us a raw rocking band with a pedal steel coming in over the top of it, making a quite unique sound. It was followed with a ballad "Before I Go" which had some pained vocals around the line "Won't you let me know?" and saw Robert bouncing around the stage as if permanently sprung.
The next song according to the setlist was "FYD", the vocals were lost within something of a rawkus piece of powerpop - highly entertaining and like nothing else we would see across the whole weekend.
Things slowed a little with the next song "Flickering Flame" which was a ballad with a splendid chorus, it was the first time that the keys were really added into the mix and made for a different sound. Robert's vocal performance was pretty striking as well with the veins in his neck taut and prominent as he delivered the chorus. The fifth song of the set "Whatshisname" was announced as being his most "countryish" and saw an additional backing vocalist come from the audience to take her place on stage. It saw Robert perform with his eyes closed for most of the song in concentration and the additional backing vocals on the chorus did make this a stand out song of the set. The final song in this short but sweet set was "New Romantic" with punchy guitar strokes, it was high powered pop meets country in an unlikely combination that worked really well. It was an intriguing if something of a whirlwind of a performance that typifies what Long Road is about which is covering all avenues of Americana.