The Band Perry, London
Last night I was able to see American country band The Band Perry live at a sold out King's College Student Union in London. It was the first time the band (consisting of brothers and sister Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry) had performed to fans in London although they had visited the UK a few months ago for an industry showcase.
Anticipation and excitement was high as the gathered fans were let in to the venue. After a short wait the support act, Karima Francis took the stage. Karima Francis is similar to Court Yard Hounds and hails from Blackpool. She was obviously nervous but held her own well. She has a very different voice but I found myself liking some of the songs she sang.
At 9pm The Band Perry took the stage. They played a lot of their new songs, which has made me sure that their next album is going to be very good. I was originally surprised at the band featuring more than one or two new songs in their set but it is definitely a good way to introduce fans to the songs that will be on the next album and to try out some songs that the band are maybe not sure about.
Their set list was very well thought out and included a good mixture of their slower songs and some faster, more up-tempo songs. They mixed songs such as All Your Life and Walk Me Down The Middle with songs like Double Heart and You Lie, all of which showed of Kimberly's very strong rocky voice and Reid and Neil's brilliant harmonies.
The Band Perry did include some covers in their set. Kimberly sang a brilliant rendition of Amazing Grace and the band as a whole also sang Tom Petty's Free Fallin' , Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls and The Beatles I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends. It is nice to see a country band that are brave enough to cover songs from bands which aren't necessarily in their genre. It showed that you didn't necessarily have to be a country fan to enjoy the band's music. In between their songs I felt they had the right mix of interaction with their fans and kept the atmosphere up throughout the whole night.
One of their most successful songs has been the multi-award winning If I Die Young. When Kimberly sang the first line of the song the screams and woops from the audience was almost deafening and you could see disbelief on the faces of the band. It is an amazing song, written solely by Kimberly Perry and features lyrics such as "A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar, they're worth so much more after I'm a goner".
Perhaps my favourite song of the night was the band's performance of All Your Life. It is a beautiful love song and has a lovely melody behind it. The atmosphere in the venue was brilliant at that point, with everyone singing along. With lyrics such as "would you walk to the edge of the ocean, just to fill my jar with sand, just in case I get the notion to let it run through my hand". All Your Life wasn't written by the band but they certainly know how to pick songs that suit their voices.
After their gig finished The Band Perry then came out to sign CDs and take photos with their fans. The majority of the audience stayed behind to meet the them and they stayed to meet all of their fans and sign their CDs. I got to meet them and you could tell that they badly wanted to spend more time with everyone and talk to them properly. The band were all really sweet to everyone and I think they were surprised at the extent of their popularity in the UK.
I really hope The Band Perry come over to the UK again soon. The King's College Student Union was an average venue but I felt it was clear from the choice of the venue that the band didn't realise quite how much of a following they have over here. The band did however manage to overcome any problems that they might have had from the choice of venue with finesse. Overall I thought the band were very tight although they did forget to mention the names of two of their band members. Hopefully as the country fan-base grows, more acts will come over to play in the UK. Seeing acts such as The Band Perry live has made me think that current pop acts really don't need all the dancers and pyrotechnics they have on stage, they should just be able to rely on their voices. The Band Perry are an amazingly skilled trio and I hope they continue to gain popularity.