Eric Church - Shepherds Bush Empire 02/03/14

Now some of you will no doubt be looking at this and going "Eric Church ? - isn't he, y'"

Yep probably, but if he is, then so is Skynyrd and half a dozen other Southern rock bands...

Talking of which, up first was The Cadillac Three - Nashville's answer to Motorhead. Christ these Good Ole Boys are loud!  With just drums, lap steel and a guitar these guys went down a storm. They look like they're smuggling moonshine in the kick drum and their style icon is Seasick Steve.. all plaid shirts and John Deere caps. But they kick it big time.. Jaren Johnston on lead vocals & f'kin loud guitar has a great Nashville twang to his voice. As a fan of Southern Rock for years, from Blackfoot, to Molly Hatchet to Lynyrd Skynyrd these guys are the new standard bearers for the genre - long may they reign.

Yeah there were a couple of cowboy hats in the crowd, and as we saw during the song These Boots, plenty of Cowboy Boots too.. but Eric Church rocks. We had a mixture of tracks from his back catalogue, including 7 or so from the classic Chief album, but also quite a few from the new Outsiders album - which has a darker feel to it, but the songs come across even better live.

He had a packed SBE in the palm of his hand from the minute he came on stage with his band .. and what a band they were too .. this was no acoustic set - we had twin lead guitars, mandolins, bass, superb sounding drums and Eric swapping between acoustic and electric guitars as the night went on.

We had a sound failure for a short while during one of the songs..but he kept on rocking knowing it would get sorted out bang they were back and the crowd were singing along again. Yes he wears his Blue Collar on his sleeve, and the songs are about beer, girls and his hometown but you can't help singing along and joining in even if you couldn't even point to Carolina on a map.

There's something about Church that you can't help but like.. I can't put my finger on it, but the fact that his (probably) most known song is about Bruce Springsteen might have something to do with it.. both of them come across as a likeable, blue collar buddy that you would want to go for a beer with.

Unlikely I'll ever go drinking with him, but that's the only church I'll be attending on a Sunday.


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