Josh T. Pearson, Queens Social Club, Sheffield (March 24, 2011)

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2 avr. 2011, 23h40m

Thu 24 Mar – Josh T. Pearson, Smokers Die Younger, We Three and the Death Rattle

Original article.

“Sorry about the wait. This beard takes a long time to make pretty” says Pearson in his thick Texan drawl, as he emerges onto the Queen’s Social Club stage. The stage adorned in silver streamers give it more of a Brian Potter’s Phoenix Club vibe, than that of a live music venue.

It’s been 10 years since Josh T. Pearson recorded the critically acclaimed but criminally overlooked The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads as the front man of Lift to Experience. But his long overdue return, now as a solo artist, with debut record, Last of the Country Gentlemen has seen him once again garner universal critical praise.

“I’m gonna start with a Boney M. cover”, Pearson announces causing a stir of laughter from the audience, “and believe me or not, y’all be crying by the end of it.” It takes a second take for Pearson’s version to start and the laughter to subside, but when it does; Rivers Of Babylon is transformed from the reggae influenced disco of Boney M. into a rousing, hushed ballad.

Sweetheart I Ain't Your Christ highlights Pearson’s strengths wonderfully. His sorrowful, melancholic vocals encapsulate a tortured soul as he pours everything into his intensely personal chronicles of loss and regret. The 12 minute epic draws a stunned silence from the awestruck audience for its entirety, who then erupt in rapturous applause as it finishes.

His songs may be gut-wrenching, spine-tingling juggernauts but Pearson reveals himself to be both a charismatic and humorous man. “I have an album. Give me ten dollars and download that shit for free. Don’t tell the record label,” he jokes before starting Thou Art Loosed, the opening track from that record.

Pearson closes the set with Country Dumb, taking the audiences breath away one last time. Even a guitar malfunction mid-way through doesn’t put him off his stride as he finishes the song unplugged and without a microphone; taking the plaintive tale to new stratospheres of intimacy.

Josh T. Pearson’s live performance has the exact same effect as his record. It is visceral, emotionally draining and powerful, but understated enough to not be overwrought or unrefined. Pearson has the audience hanging on his every word and it is testament to him as a performer that he has you laughing out loud one minute and breaking your heart the next.

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