Since our last visit to The Slaughtered Lamb, there has been a bit of a refurb, the bar has certainly moved but many of the venues previous features remain, the demonic bright red neon sign stillgives off a rediant glow, and with the stage bathed in blue light, most of the pre show chatter was from various snappers saying how rubbish their pictures were going to be.
This was to be Adele & Andy's debut London show as a band, only their 4th time playing together as a group and it comes ahead of the release of their debut album "Scars". Adele makes for a slightly unusual front person, supremely confident when singing yet seemingly a little ill at ease with the the between song audience banter, but there is no need to worry as husband ,Andy perilously positioned inches under the air conditioning duct, is more than happy to fill in, supplying plenty of background info around the songs,
The start is a little low key, there is no big introduction, things just kind of begin with "Moments". A combination of electric guitar and drums delivers a rocky intro that "Misty Eyes" never quite delivers on, it does however see Adele spitting out the lines with real feeling and the chorus sees the word "Eyes" extended out over many syllables. Midway through there is section that once again rocked things up a litttle and with the excellent guitar work throughout the elements are there to tranform this song in a live setting into something compelling. even Andy noted "Bit different playing in a band" and I'm sure this song will evolve as they play together as a band more.
"When I Look At You" came with a touching introduction admission that "My life was going nowhere" before he met Adele and that the song was a result, it came with its own inbuilt audience participation chant and some dreamy echo laden guitar work. There were some unusual elements to the evening, Andy's intro to "Whiskey On You Breath" was so long and detailed there was nearly no point in singing it, fortunately opening to a big repeating guitar riff the song proved to be worth the wait with Adele's voice rising in intensity on the chorus. Come the end of the song Adele needed a quick gasp of air after this quite wordy and demanding song to perform which she did to great aplomb.
There was a similar lengthy intro to "As Much As I Miss You" but then if your song has been nominated for an award then why not, however such long and explanatory introductions leave the listener little to then discover for themselves and should hopefully be apparent from listening to the lyrics. It saw another examplary vocal performance from Adele on this pathos laden ballad.
Adele did take to introduction duties for "Scars", the title track of the new album, and made a great job of it with as open and honest an introduction as you could hope for, one would hope that she draws inner strength and fortitude when she realises quite how well she did. There was an injection of pace and noise level with "I'm Getting Over You", which had the makings of a great pop song. Things began for Adele & Andy 3 years ago, and their first song together "How Can Anyone" was one of the best songs of the night.
At this point an unlikely cover in the shape of "The Kill" by 30 Seconds To Mars, seemed to have an invigorating effect on the band and from hereon in they seemed more confident to make some noise, with Adele powering out the vocals really getting in the zone so much so that she was ready to carry on even as the rest of the band finished.. For their recent single "Where These Roads Meet" #TEAMw21 bemoaned the lack of a real drumbeat on the track, tonight with a real drummer it really sounded much the better for it and was one of the stand out songs on the night.
Even with a new album due, there was still time for a brand new song, which seemed a little darker, broodier and sassier than the ones that preceeded it. There were admirable sentiments behind "Who's Gonna Pray For Her?" and "Run I Can't Hide" came replete with some lovely jangly guitar and a punchy chorus.
The home straight saw the jaunty "Old Leonards Farm" recalling childhood days while "Put Your Hands Up" which sounds a little out of place on the new record transformed itself in a live environment into a total crowd pleaser with the title acting as an encouragment to the assembled crowd of what they should do, It invoked quite a party atmosphere, The main set was to close with a nod to the recently departed Roger Peck with a well chosen cover in the shape of Linkin Park's "One More Light".
A final song to send us on our way came in the shape of "I Got You" which really showed the benefit of the extended band format, adding some real speed and urgency to the recorded version, the chorus especially becoming a classic country rock number giving Adele the opportunity to highlight each of the many hooks within it. Having only had a limited amount of playing time together this would seem to be a bit of a work in progress, but there were plenty of positives in an entertaining eighty mnute set.