Pitching together a couple of solo troubadours, Gil Landry’s UK tour is nothing if not an evening intended to showcase fine guitar playing and storytelling. Kicking off us tonight, without the usual safety blanket of his regular band, it’s Memphis Gerald who opens us up with unique tales about remoteness, traveling and finding meaning at the outer reaches of the wilderness. ‘Gone for years’ standouts with its Springsteen styled Lost Highway style of storytelling whilst ‘Figs’ and ‘Plants’, both in title and in content, provide an insight into the core of Gerald’s themes of regrowth and nature.
Finishing the evening, Landry maintains the fine story-telling though shifts sonically slightly from Gerald’s folk sound more towards a style more heavily influenced by Americana and High Lonesome. Highly intellectual in themes Landry uses predominantly an acoustic and a harmonica to provide a foundation for his literary, almost beatnik narratives. Highlights ‘Wolf’ and ‘Dixie’ showcase an artist full of deep voice and storytelling wishing to talk us through his life choices and mistakes. A natural wordsmith, both in lyric and also in moments of between-song conversation, Landry’s show is warm, atmospheric and highly personal.
It may have been Valentine’s night but tonight was a night for stories about broken-hearts, longing and regrets. It was also a night to be reminded of the power of a guitar and a voice.