The Wulfrun Hall finally reopened its doors after what has seemed like an eternity, welcoming Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real to the stage for a show that blended traditional Country with a contemporary sound and a performance that came across as sincere and authentic. It can’t always be easy being the son of a legend, but the vocalist / guitarist / songwriter not only looks the part but also clearly has the requisite skills and ability to succeed. He is well supported by the talented POTR, namely drummer Anthony LoGerfo, bassist Corey McCormick, percussionist Tato Melgar, and multi-instrumentalist Logan Metz, who do exactly what is expected of them and never miss a beat. With a slot at the Black Deer festival this coming weekend, tonight was one of a number regional dates that marks their first shows in the UK since an appearance at Glastonbury back in 2019.
With a new album on the horizon, they kick off with ‘Sticks and Stones’, the catchy title track that blends the Californian sunshine with Texan twang. Radio friendly lead single ‘More Than Friends’ is currently sitting at the top of the Americana charts and has been released as a duet with Lainey Wilson. Tonight, Lukas handles both vocal parts but the song loses none of its charm and appeal. 2017’s self-titled album proved to be a real breakthrough and unsurprisingly is well represented in the set, evidencing a diverse range of influences and styles. From the wistful country folk of ‘Just Outside of Austin’ and bright and breezy ‘Fool Me Once’, to the hard hitting ‘Die Alone’, that finds Lukas really letting rip on his guitar, and the soulful R&B workout of ‘Find Yourself’.
Left alone on the stage, Lukas gives a solo acoustic rendition of ‘Consider It Heaven’, moving across to the piano for the sublime ‘Smile’; giving a shout out to the Wolverhampton crowd at its conclusion for being the most attentive audience he has ever performed the song for. Welcoming back the band they then move into fully blown party mode for the live debut of good time barroom anthem ‘Alcohallelujah’, complete with its huge chorus and honky tonk piano. The frantic energy of ‘Something Real’ allows one more opportunity for the band to shift up another gear and rock out, offering a great example of both their finesse and power. Returning for an encore, Logan’s organ leads them into the psychedelic infused ‘Set Me Down on a Cloud’, a song that has its roots in the 60’s but somehow still sounds like it could have been written yesterday.
Sticks and Stones, the new studio album from Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, is due for release on July 14 via 6ACE Records/Thirty Tigers (pre-save/pre-order here).