Concert Review – The Jar Family

Words and photography by Ben Macnair

With a raucous sound that blended bassy blues, delicate acoustic ditties, a steam-punk aesthetic, and catchy, singalong songs, The Jar Family bought their festival ready sound to bear when they closed Lichfield Arts Spring 2017 season in Lichfield Guildhall.

The six piece of Max Bianco on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and percussion, Dali on vocals, guitar, slide guitar, and percussion, Richie Docherty – vocals, guitar, and percussion, lead guitarist and singer Chris Hooks, bassist and vocalist Keith Wilkinson and drummer Kez Edwards have been busy earning a hard won reputation on the live stage, with virtuoso musical displays, elongated dynamic builds, and close harmony singing that would put many choirs to shame.

The set was heavily loaded with original rock songs which showed traces of musical DNA from such acts as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues, and The Smiths, all bundled into a package that also gave space to soaring guitar solos, the loudest slide guitar and harmonica duets, and some pin-tight rhythmic interplay on bass and drums.

The set started with Long Time Dead, before In For a Penny borrowed Johnny Marr’s guitar parts, new song Headless Chicken showed the band’s way of wanting more out of life, the second half featured the banjo led Fire, whilst the almost Led Zeppelin bombast of Fight or Flight, and the rousing choruses of  Machine and Money Money closed the concert, and the appreciative audience were left spent by this musically diverse and entertaining act who by rights should be entertaining much bigger audiences at leading festivals.

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