Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats– The Gov – Monday 15 April 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
First up a BIG thank you to Bluesfest Touring for bringing Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to Adelaide. It just seems all to easy for a lot of promoters to forget about Adelaide for these side shows, but not Bluesfest Touring. Also, a huge thank you to Adelaide for supporting this gig and showing that Adelaide does care about quality entertainment. The gig may not have been totally sold out, but there wasn’t much room left inside The Gov.
Nathaniel Rateliff is an American singer songwriter in Australia for the Byron Bay Blues Festival. His musical influences include folk, Americana and rhythm & blues and on this warm Monday night at The Gov, it was his rhythm and blues that shone through.
Support, The San Sebastian, are two Adelaide brothers in Dan & Joel Crannitch, who’s love of indie rock with a dose of country, got them to form this band. On the strength of a handful of demos’, they were invited to play in Nashville USA in 2016 and after watching this set, it is not hard to see why. Sorry, I didn’t know the songs but to me they had a Grant Lee Phillips sound to them and that is not a bad thing. On the strength of this performance, I will certainly be looking for their debut album.
Nathaniel’s band, The Night Sweats, wandered on stage and straight into the groove of Shoe Bootfrom their latest album, providing a great entrance for the showman himself. Nathaniel had the entire audience on side from song one and if you weren’t tapping a foot or moving to the music by the end of the opening song you must have been dead. The music was infectious. Be Therefrom the latest album followed before an earlier soulful number in Look Itwas rolled out.
The eight-piece soul band, consisting of guitars, 3-piece brass and keyboards, hit their straps running and never let up till the end. Nathaniel, looking respectable in his cowboy hat and shirt emblazoned with “In the end the drums will die” (not sure of the meaning of that), had the crowd eating out of his hand, enticing them to clap and sing along to every song. He also didn’t hand his guitar back to the roadie, he threw it across stage from the middle to the side of the stage.
It was five songs before we got an acknowledgement from Nathaniel, who told us they “flew half way around the world to be here. I am glad you decided to be here too”. And so, it was to be for most of the night, the band and singer let the music do the talking.
The reaction to S.O.B was thunderous and had the crowd stomping, clapping and singing “whoooaaa whooaa” along with the band. In fact, when the band left the stage after tearing the place apart with Trying So Hard Not to Know, the crowd continued with the “whooaaa Whooaaa’s” till they came back on.
The three-song encore included the beautiful, soulful, Hey Mama, a homage to all mothers in the world. While I was hooked on the band by now, it was the final Tearing at the Seamsthat will have me scrambling for their albums. This song has a Rolling Stones feel to it and would have sat nicely on the Stones Exile on Main Street album. Magnificent.
You can see why Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats would slot nicely onto the Byron Bay Blues Fest list of artists.
On a warm Monday evening, they slotted nicely on The Gov stage as well.
A truly moving experience.