The first act to take the stage is Katie Foulkes in her guise as Delta Maid. Katie has just released a really great debut LP called ‘Outside Looking In’ which deserves your attention and from which she plays a selection for tonight. With nothing to accompany her except her guitar, it’s easy to hear that Delta Maid’s has a clear linage back to the blues. Her songs coast along pleasantly enough, and as warm up acts go, it was a perfect way to ease into an evening of music.
Next up is Alice Gold who is probably playing the last shows of this size and intimacy before she moves up to larger venues and crowds. She skips into her short set with the forceful ‘Seasons Change’, the opening track from her forthcoming debut CD ‘Seven Rainbows. It’s an impressive start from the London based Gold and her band and sets the standard for the rest of the evening. Next is single ‘Runaway Love’ which gives Gold the chance to showcase her distinctive voice, which suits the song’s heavy and anthemic guitar work. It’s an intriguing concoction that Gold’s created that’s equal parts up beat heavy rock and glossy pop, which only works when it’s done well and tonight Gold does it very well indeed. However despite such strong material on display the runt of the litter is new single ‘Cry Cry Cry’ which displays the lighter and more melodic side of her song writing, though when it’s surrounded by it’s harder and tougher siblings as it is tonight, it sounds decidedly underwhelming. Perhaps it’ll come into it’s own as a stand alone track on the radio, but on this occasion it struggles to catch fire. The set is brought to a conclusion with the lithe and thunderous ‘Orbiter’ On the whole it’s a spirited and enjoyable performance from an artist beginning to flex her muscles.
Finally it’s the turn of radio sensations The Pierces who are Catherine and Allison Pierce to drip their honeyed harmonies onto the Ruby Lounge crowd and they hit the ground running with the effortlessly beautiful ‘Love You More’ from current hit album ‘You and I’ The Pierces music is unashamedly MOR complete with soring vocals and totally infectious hooks. Current single ‘Glorious is a perfect example of their art and it goes down a storm with the crowd when it gets an airing. Over the course of the four LP’s the Pierces have released, the girls now have a large repertoire from which to assemble their set. However not all the songs on show tonight are as classy as ‘Love You More’ or the one two three song ‘You’ll Be Mine’, because songs like ‘Sticks and Stones’ veer a little too far from west coast pop and a little too much into country music. Still this small anomaly doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the songs the Pierces play tonight are buffed to a mirror shine, especially the dreamy ‘I Put Your Records On’ and the Fleetwood Mac Abba hybrid, ‘Boring’
Review/photos by Phil King