Live: We Are Augustines – HMV Ritz, Manchester

Rating:

3rd October 2012

On their third tour in the UK this year alone, We Are Augustines were ready to celebrate and conclude their journey in which they began over a year ago in support of their debut record “Rise Ye Sunken Ships”. In as little as one year their status in the land of rock and roll has inevitably grown with venue sizes increasing show by show, with a little help from a stage spot at Reading/Leeds festival over the summer.

To kick off, Manchester were presented with indie rockers, Folks; who were playing to their home crowd for the evening. With 60’s riffs crossed with a heavy 90’s attitude they quickly grabbed the attention of the ever-growing crowd. Midway through the set they really came into their own, with “Avalanche” being a real highlight. Faultless harmonies came from the guitarists with front man Scott Anderson radiating the confidence of a Gallagher brother. Smiles never faded from both keyboard player Wil Akroyd and drummer Elliot Barlow who were grabbing their moment and embracing it entirely.

When We Are Augustines take to the stage it’s like bumping into an old friend in the street, laughing and reminiscing about old times. Just a raised glass a beaming smile and a nod of the head is their introduction; to which the audience responded with equally beaming smiles and cheers which would never die down. Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen jumped feet first into their first track of the night “Philadelphia (City Of Brotherly Love)” accompanied by Brett Lomas. It’s the perfect track for crowd interaction with thunderous claps and throat shredding “yeea-ee-ah!”s. Other highlights were “Jaurez”, “East Los Angeles” and of course the second most requested track of the night “Book Of James” which saw the crowd of all ages sing their hearts out, hands in the air, to the lines of; “and here lies my green eyes, rolled back in my head but they’re alive, and all these words can all get spoken, well I know we tried and you’re forgiven.”

We Are Augustines do not let their passion for music and their fans go un-noticed, with those looks of disbelief to one another as the crowds sing the words they wrote about their lives, right back at them.  A stripped version of “Philadelphia” was their first encore bringing the song into a new light with just the piano and soft percussion. “Chapel Song” was demanded and supplied quickly followed by “New Drink for the Old Drunk” which saw Folks return to the stage. As well as the horn accompaniment and members of the back stage crew, who all shared a moment of joy and celebration, bringing a magical show to an exhilarating end. You have to admire what this band achieves and how they do it with such grace. We Are Augustines remind us that life is what we make it.

Here’s to album number two!