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Larkin Poe - Islington Assembly Hall, London (UK) - 21 November 2018

The two sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, better known as Larkin Poe, belong to one of the most refreshing bands in the Blues/Rock industry. When it comes to converting the old into new, this statement has become fundamental for their career. It all started with self- recorded videos of them playing the roots of Blues music in their bedroom with a lap steel guitar and their two harmonic voices. When they uploaded it on Facebook, their talent went viral. Since then they have recorded multiple singles, EPs and records, where they've developed their unique style in music. Gritty Roots Rock 'n' Roll and soulful Blues underlaid with modern sounds on newly interpreted covers and great original compositions. Meanwhile they have released their fourth studio album 'Venom & Faith' which they presented in a sold-out show in London's Islington Assembly Hall.

They captivated the audience straight away with the stunning opening, when they entered the stage, stood together on one microphone and started to sing the intro of 'Tom Devil', with nothing more than their vocals. Behind them they placed five spotlights in a diagonal line, which went on when the drums and the bass kicked in. Another "wow"- moment was the surprisingly big sound of a contemporary beat coming in towards the end, which completed the last highlight of that first song.

With the second song 'Summertime', a crunchy Blues/ Rock number, they picked up their guitars and lifted the energy of the hall. Both of them are amazing singers and guitar players, whilst Rebecca sets the rhythm and punch on the E-Guitar and Megan creates terrific electronic sounds with her lap steel guitar. The applause therefore was huge, even after the second song. It nearly sounded record- breaking from all the Blues/ Rock concerts I have heard in London so far.

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With 'Trouble In My Mind', from their second album 'Reskinned', they kept the energy level high. Suitable to the up-tempo groove of the song, an amazing light show completed the atmosphere. Both of the sisters are highly talented and skilled musicians, but also their songwriting is equally refreshing with catchy melodies and sing-along hooks. But not only their originals will carry you away, as they brought new life into covers like 'Black Betty' and 'Preachin' Blues'. It's easy to cover songs, but not with Larkin Poe, as they found a way to newly interpret the songs and make them their own!

Apart from the music, the two sisters are ultra-charming on stage. Whilst Rebecca is more the one who is doing the talking, both of them reflect a natural and pure shine, and their joy spreads out to the audience. You could see how moved they were about the great positive resonance of the audience when they played songs from their latest album, like 'Honey Honey' or 'Hard Time'. Obviously the audience were truly happy to have them back, after their last UK appearance at the Glastonbury festival in 2016. At the end of each song, it probably took up to a minute until the euphoria of the people would calm down and the band were even able to say a word over the cheering crowd. Larkin Poe explained that they couldn't return to the UK earlier, as they had a few busy years. They released 'Reskinned' in 2016, which then immediately got followed up by 'Peach' in 2017. With 'Peach' they moved a step further in production and included contemporary, Hip Hop- attached beats and sounds into their music, which worked incredibly well. Even on stage the effect of songs like 'Look Away' and 'Freedom' were bombastic. It's another of their remarkable flavours that makes the band so unique.

Still, they stay loyal to roots music, and even on the latest album 'Venom & Faith' you can find songs like 'Blue Ridge Mountains' and 'Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues', marked by pure Southern Roots Rock, which they played in a traditional way at the Assembly Hall. This variety makes Larkin Poe so special. They can play the old music originally, as well as they prove that roots music sounds great in a contemporary style. Larkin Poe is like a rebirth of Roots music: They sound up to date, but create that nostalgic feeling of the good old days. It's rare these days that you can find a band that offers it all: The talent, the singing, the playing, the showmanship, the songs, the good old roots and contemporary waves. But Larkin Poe is a band, that owns it all, like barely nobody else does. As easy as they rule the songs of the legends, they are on the way to become another one themselves!

Cheri Lyn

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