Tucked away in a corner of Kings Cross is one of London’s most exciting, new music venues, Lafayette. With a 600-person capacity, the venue also boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, although the stage lighting could use a bit of a boost at times, and for those interested, there’s a restaurant next door too for your pre-gig nosh.
Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Arielle has been making waves with her brand of blues, tinge style of Americana. She’s been championed by none other than Brian May, Nuno Bettencourt and Vince Gill.
She was certainly inspired, by 70s-style rock and blues, but also her set takes some more twists and turns with blues, Americana, country, and even surprisingly, a song inspired by Irish folk music. She played a set that was longer than your average support band, more of a festival-style slot in terms of length, but it was a good showcase for this young artist. She also took us through a guided tour of her entire guitar collection, including her signature two-tone guitar. Her latest album was released at the end of April, and it's well worth listening to and finding out what all the hype is about. As Brian May says "Pass her by at your peril"
Another act that lives up to the hype is blues rock duo, When Rivers Meet. Husband and wife Grace and Aaron Bond have already built up quite a big fanbase, partly due to the fact that they continued to make music during lockdown, when the world stood still.
'Play My Game', one of their newer tracks kicked off a sassy, sexy and powerhouse set by the band. Grace's vocals are clearly influenced by some of the greats of the genre, but she deserves a chance to carve her own name into blues rock history as a great performer and vocalist.
The band are big fans of a fat bass beat - 'Battleground' being a meaty example. The equally stomping beat of 'Did I Break The Law'also has the crowd moving along to the hypnotic slide guitar that underpins the track. Another song from their debut album follows, 'Take Me to The River,' sees Aaron taking lead vocals, and also is a clear fan favourite. 'I Will Fight' is another track from the 'We Fly Free' album, but it's a glorious track that has heart and cajones in equal measure. Like a lot of their music, it's also incredibly cinematic. Talking of the movies, 'Do You Remember My Name' has the sort of vibe to it that wouldn't see it out of place as a Bond Film... and I'm talking 007 here. If Barbara Broccoli is reading this - please get the duo to write and record a theme tune in the style of Chris Cornell, Jack White and Alecia Keys, it's been a while since we had a theme song with real guts.
'The band played their new track 'Perfect Stranger', which is a track that epitomizes their sound and direction at this point in their career. It's a solid track, with bags of cross-over appeal too. It's heavy enough to grab rock fans, and poppy enough to get airplay. 'Testify' follows and helps to drive their energetic set to an explosive finale with 'Lost and Found.'
Last tour they played The Garage, this time Layfayette, it's only a matter of time before WRM is going to headline some of the Capital's larger venues, and they deserve to have that notoriety.