For fans of the folk punk genre of music the last couple of weeks have been a real treat at the Windmill, Brixton. Two weeks ago Two Cow Garage played alongside the Blacklist Royals, Crazy Arm and El Morgan. Last night it was the turn of the rather awesome Austin Lucas.
I saw Austin Lucas play at the Windmill last October (that time with Cory Brannan and Drag The River) and was keen to see him again. He played a couple of unofficial shows at this years SXSW but both I and then a taxi driver got lost trying to find the venue (it was quite a way out of town) so I was pretty chuffed to see him booked to play back in Brixton.
In trying to get some friends to come along I described the music genre as alt-country punk, which admittedly doesn't sound very appealing to those who aren't already a fan of the genre. In hindsight I should have done a better job at selling the gig as it turned to be one of those rare evenings where you wish all your friends were there to witness it. Support for the evening came with a wealth of talent in the form of Digger Barnes, Darren Johns (of Crazy Arm), The Henry Brothers, El Morgan and Jimmy Islip all playing. I arrived missing the first act but caught the middle of El Morgan's set, it was the 2nd time seeing her play in as many weeks and I'll definitely be looking out for her coming back to London soon!
Anyone at the Windmill last night who wasn't already a fan of Lucas will surely be now. Playing a solo set as preparation for his forthcoming Country Throw Down tour with Willie Nelson, Lucas started out with the traditional Wild Boar, ending with Go West and winding through songs from across albums A New Home In An Old World, Somebody Loves You and Putting The Hammer Down often turing to the audience to determine what they wanted to hear next.
But it was his character and interaction with the crowd on stage really shone through. It's clear to see that he's someone who loves what he does and enjoys seeing others having a great time, you got the sense that he'd just as rather been in the crowd as playing on stage. During the set Lucas spoke about how he enjoyed the lack of green room at the Windmill as this meant he could get to hang out with fans stating if your fans aren't good enough to hang out with then you're playing the wrong type of music! In recent tweets Lucas demonstrated again that he appreciates people who want to listen to his music saying, "..love seeing free download links for my album online. It's kinda like when kids make their own Tshirts for your band. You know you've made it", although of course he'd rather you buy the albums. And you really should.
If you get a chance to see Lucas play live then grab it! I'll be looking forward to him coming back to London soon!