Tonight the Shepherd’s Bush plays host to a special night of country rock and roots music from two excellent bands, and one rather famous face as Fine Lines and the Kiefer Sutherland band hit the Empire’s stage.
Kiefer Sutherland – Fine Lines
02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – 30 October 2022
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Photography: Steve Ritchie
“We’ve been waiting two years, seven months and 16 days to play this show,” declares a beaming Kiefer Sutherland. “Thank you for coming out!”
A bright and airy take on country, rock and roots music is the order of the night, and it’s pulled off in style. Imagine a blend of Tom Petty, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen, and you’ll have a good grasp of Sutherland’s musical tastes and sound.
Sutherland wears his influences on his sleeve, and while there is certainly nothing that will take listeners by surprise, it’s to his credit that Sutherland doesn’t try to hide the fact that he loves this music and hopes the crowd will too. By their reaction tonight, it’s clear that the audience and his fans are right there with him, singing and dancing through the whole night.
The fact that he has enlisted one of the greatest living blues guitarists on the face of this planet in the shape of former Black Crow, Marc Ford, helps to elevate their entire live sound. Whether it’s playing the most fluid of slides to the hottest of solos, Ford is a guitarist’s guitarist and a wonder to listen to.
Sutherland is a natural storyteller, and his easy back and forth with the crowd is a pleasure to witness.
“It’s no secret I like a drink,” Kiefer says. “God knows I wrote enough songs about it! I was having a late night at this bar in L.A. and had the feeling that something special was going to happen. Then it dawned on me nothing was going to fucking happen (laughs). Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have to stay there every night until 2 am – it wouldn’t be rude if I left early. Those two thoughts made me laugh so much that I slipped off my bar stool, paid my bill, went home and wrote this song called Going Home.”
Sutherland explains the title track of his new album Bloor Street which chronicles the days of his youth and his formative experiences in rural Toronto. Asking the audience to raise a glass, Sutherland thanks them again for coming out to support him and his dreams. “It’s an absolute privilege to be here.”
The transition from actor/sports person/celebrity to touring musician is never a simple one and one too often plagued by ego or vanity on the artist’s part.
Sutherland suffers from neither. His honest, straight-to-the-heart music and charm make it a night to remember. Or, as Sutherland best said on stage, “life is way too fucking short not to be doing something you love.”
Opening act Fine Lines did a superb job of kicking off the night with their breezy and joyful take on the Bakersfield sound. Uplifting harmonies, acoustic guitars and fiddle took us down that road feeling fine.
Songs like Forget About You start out as stripped-down vocals and guitar before Bryan Adam’s levels of heartfelt balladry take the song into high gear.
Kiefer Sutherland Setlist
Ole’ lonely life
Can’t Stay Away
Chasing the Rain
Something You Love
Reckless & Me
Two Stepping in Time
Blame It on Your Heart (Patty Loveless cover)
County Jail Gate
Ways to Be Wicked (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
So Full of Love
Set Me Free
This Is How It’s Done
Honey Bee (Tom Petty cover)
Down in a Hole