The trio of Oli Jefferson (Drums), Neil Murdoch (Vocals/Guitar), and Luke Weston (Bass, Vocals) are a refreshing combination of classic blues rock and latter-day Britpop like Stone Roses/Paul Weller in their songwriting. Tonight, Blue Nation were at the iconic and legendary 100 Club in London.
The 100 Club – 8 September 2023
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Photography: Eric Duvet
Opening with crunchy riffs of Gimme Some Time and the following She’s A Storm, Blue Nation, with drummer Nick Sharman stepping in for Oli Jefferson, play a tight and lean 45-minute set at the 100 Club tonight. As the band are currently opening for British Blues guitarist Chantel McGregor, it makes tonight’s crowd response all the more impressive.
Blue Nation cleverly avoid the most obvious cliches of the blues genre that too many of their peers seem to fall into. This means that there are no songs about whisky and evil, heartbreaking women. This is no bad thing, as there are some troupes that have been done to death, both musically and lyrically.
Instead, they take a more personal look at the world and find their own charming space within an often crowded musical landscape.
The band are proud of their Birmingham roots, and between the jokes about the less-than-stellar areas they grew up in and the accents on stage, the band certainly like to chat. With an album (The Kaftan Society) and a new EP named Echoes out and more new music to come, Blue Nation are off to a promising start.
A song like Old Friends, which recently had its premiere at MetalTalk, is a more mellow and pastoral folk-blues number that picks up into an anthemic tribute to their closest and oldest supporters.
Bassist Luke gives an emotional and moving speech about the importance of The Samaritans and speaking out about mental health and dedicates the title track, Echoes, to his late cousin.
Once again, the band thanked their fans and the press and made a final dedication to Chantel McGregor for sharing her stage and fans with them on this tour.
“Be good, be free, stay happy,” says frontman Neil before the band launches into their final song of the evening, the sing-along blues rock of Down By The River.
With a support slot on 3 October at the Half Moon in Putney and more new music on the horizon, Blue Nation are a band to keep a close eye on.