Hot off the back of a string of high-profile US TV appearances, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats embark on their most extensive UK tour to date.
The demand was so high for this show that the event organisers upgraded the venue from the neighbouring Rescue Rooms to the iconic Nottingham Rock City. The concert sold out in double quick fashion aided by the band’s performance on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland show. Inside the packed venue, there is not an inch of space to spare. It doesn’t take long for things to get hot and sweaty.
In recent years, we have witnessed somewhat of a rock and soul revival with bands like St Paul and the Broken Bones and Vintage Trouble all enjoying great success. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats self-titled debut album was released via the historic Stax Records, home to the likes of the legendary “Otis Redding” and “Sam and Dave” to name just a few of their prestigious artists.
The seven-piece outfit is the epitome of old school cool. Their sound is characterised by the unmistakable Booker T-esque hammond riffs of Mark Shusterman, the soulful horn section of Wesley Watkins (trumpet) and Andy Wild (sax) alongside the powerhouse vocals of Nathaniel Rateliff.
The band kicks off their set with the up-tempo “I Need Never Get Old,” before slowing down proceedings with “Howling At Nothing” and “I’ve Been Failing,” which features some fantastic vocal harmonies. Fans greet song after song with cheers. “Shake” has a trippy, vintage feel to it. Naturally, “S.O.B” gets the biggest response of the evening. The Night Sweats deliver the lion’s share of their debut album and their set is unsurprisingly short at just over an hour.
Closing out the show with a rousing cover of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In,” they leave the audience wanting more. The crowd still singing the chorus to “S.O.B,” they pour out onto the streets of Nottingham and into the local bars.
With Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, there are no gimmicks and no backing tapes; just real music performed by real musicians. If you close your eyes and listen to their music, you can almost imagine being transported to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. They will inevitably be a hit on the summer festival circuit. Their performance tonight bordered on a spiritual experience; they took Rock City to Church and we look forward to their return to UK shores in November.