REVIEW: Jess And The Bandits At Nashville Nights

Last Friday saw Nashville Nights roll back into town after a couple of months rest, this time featuring the brilliant Jess and the Bandits (and that fella on guitar Luke Thomas!). A really impressive turnout this time, full of JATB fans eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new album ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ (review HERE), and the familiar community of Nash Nights-goers! Jess and the guys were on fine form as usual, delivering a 45-minute set packed with fan favourites from ‘Here We Go Again’ as well as their brand-new material which has been phenomenally received at festivals over the summer.

They kicked off their set with the high energy ‘Ready Set’, which got everyone on the dancefloor right from the off and set the tone for such a fun, powerful set. JATB are the perfect act for this kind of event; they consistently bring the party and Jess’ stage presence and charisma has a great impact on the audience. And as expected, her vocal delivery was on point – certainly one of the finest performers on the British country scene.

A couple of impressive covers were thrown in along the way, including a brilliant rendition of Three Dog Night’s ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’ and Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Love Sneaking Up On You’, both of which went down a storm and kept the party atmosphere alive.

The new material is simply awesome and is a big step up in quality – be sure to check it out when the album comes out on September 15th. ‘I’m Not Going Home’ has become a real summer anthem after their performances at Buckle & Boots and FSA Fest, and it gets better and better with every live performance I see. ‘White Lies’ and ‘The Bullet’ also prompted a warm reaction from the Nash Nights crowd; 2 beautifully written tracks that give Jess a platform to show off her vocal prowess with such powerful choruses. ‘Kings Of Summer’ brought the party atmosphere back and had everybody singing and dancing along before they closed their set with groovy fan favourite ‘Single Tonight’.

They left the stage to rapturous applause, and I think it’s fair to say they gained a few more fans that night. Be sure to go and support them when they go on tour next month (all the details at jessandthebandits.com) and get behind BCMA Award-nominated album ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ – you won’t be disappointed.

Set List:

Ready Set
Love Like That
You Can’t Stop Me
Nitty Gritty
I’m Not Going Home
World Still Round
My Name Is Trouble
Mamma Told Me Not To Come
White Lies
The Bullet
Love Sneaking Up
Kings Of Summer
Single Tonight

Nashville Nights continue to attract superb artists to their event month after month, and we’ve got more to look forward to in the near future. Holloway Road are set to perform on 22nd September, then it’s Kevin McGuire’s turn on 14th October, before Katy Hurt takes the stage on 18th November. Easily the most enjoyable night of the month!

Dan Wharton (@LifeInASong_Dan)