American rhythm and blues artist Nick Waterhouse brought his swinging grooves to a sold out Rotondes on Saturday night.
Over the last five years’ singer-songwriter, producer and rhythm and blues enthusiast Nick Waterhouse has re-light the torch for the late 50, early 60s R’n’B sound. With shimmering tambourine, girl group backing vocals and brass giving us an irresistible glimpse of a bygone era.
With Leon Bridges debut in 2015 bringing soul and R’n’B back into the spotlight, Waterhouse has surely benefited from this new found attention, allowing him to breakout from the niche audience his first two albums attracted. Like Bridges, Waterhouse’ attention to detail and ability to recreate an old sound whilst still managing to keep it fresh is what make him stand out from others.
Taking to the hot and sweaty stage of a sold out Rotondes, Waterhouse and his band launched into the R’n’B drenched “I Had Some Money” with the saxophone and organ driving the song forward whilst the backing vocals punctuated the oh so sweet tone of Waterhouse’ guitar.
Although there was certainly emphasis on the rhythm it took a while for a fairly stagnant crowd to find their dancing shoes but once they did there was no stopping them. Maybe it was the booze or just an onslaught of the most rhythm inducing, hip shaking grooves this side of New Orleans but by the time they rocked out to “Is That Clear” with the searing rich vocals of Waterhouse trademark electric guitar riffs, deep hook and irresistible tempos you couldn’t help but get down to the beat.
Vocally, Waterhouse is as spirited as he is studious, crooning and belting it out at all the appropriate moments with just the right amount of swagger to command the stage. Whilst he still allowed the band to have their own moments in the spotlight, as they kept the tempo upbeat throughout the whole evening.
The fact that the tempo never dropped meant the set flew by with “Some Place” finishing up the evening having just past the hour mark, fortunately for the audience who by this time were in rapturous applause they would return for a double encore.
Finally finishing up with “Say I Wanna Know” and The Seeds classic “Pushin’ Too Hard” they left the crowd sweaty but yet still crying for more which is no mean feat. With songs this well constructed they’ll always find and audience, so lets just hope with this revival in R’n’B other acts can approach it with as much detail and authenticity at Waterhouse does.
Rotondes – 28/01/17