NO SINNER HAVE NO REGRETS AT THE BORDERLINE
No Sinner: The Borderline, London
Tuesday 25th October 2016
There are no shortage of blues rock bands around and every now and then one leaps ahead of the pack and marks their identity on you with such force that the impact remains long after the smudged ink from door stamps has washed off. No Sinner are one of these.
According to my social media feeds it appeared that most of London were over in Shepherd's Bush for the spectacular all-star celebration of Jack Bruce, and I would be lying if I didn't admit to travelling here this evening feeling a pang of envy at missing out.
Tonight's performance however had all the ingredients for a great night, put together in the right order and baked to optimum satisfaction levels.
The evening got off to a strong start with Sheffield quartet Bang Bang Romeo, whose heavy edge with a soulful vibe kept the crowd's attention. With lead singer Anastasia Walker's powerful voice, and the 60s inspired soundtrack, this may not have been a million miles away from the result of Grace Slick and Mama Cass cloned and sent out to gig with Hendrix. An impressive opening act.
No Sinner started with a bang, entering to the dying strains of 'Ace Of Spades', launching straight into 'Be My Saviour' and keeping the energy dialled up for the rest of the night.
Skilled frontwoman Colleen Rennison stunned with the depth and passion of her voice which belied her years and transported us to a land of heartache and whisky-soaked road trips.
Whether giving us the defiance of 'All Woman' or the more traditional stylings of 'Work Song', Colleen was quality through and through, is completely the real deal and oh my god - that voice...
The band were tight, the Hammond suitably oozy and the whole thing was underpinned with a hardness and grit that balanced the rich vocal tones impeccably. They are coming to the end of a gruelling European tour, promoting current album 'Old Habits Die Hard' and appear to be natural road dogs. No sign of flagging here.
Essentially the songs can be divided into soulful slow blues or shouty rock, sometimes the two together in the same song, but it was never once boring. More helpings of the same dish were eagerly consumed, like eating a whole cheesecake, but without the regret.
The crowd were noticeably captivated and Colleen and co had a literal magnetic effect, as people naturally and gradually moved closer and closer to the stage as the set progressed. This current line-up gel brilliantly, and this added a further edge to 'Stuck In The Middle', a very direct song about the break up and fallout of the previous line-up.
Even with all this emotion and the proliferation of tortured rip-your-heart-out torch songs, things never got maudlin as the underlying beat and a down and dirty rhythm section ensured the dominance of strength and power.
What a great rock'n'roll band. Talent and dedication to the cause paid off tonight and ensured there were no complaints from me about where I spent my evening.