Brian Fallon and the Crowes, Leeds Academy

American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Brian Fallon is back for his UK tour teaming up with Gaslight Anthem and The Horrible Crowes members.

By Jane Howkins.

Singer-songwriter Brian Fallon is back in the U.K. again, after a popular Spring tour proved worthwhile for his solo project. Fallon is most famous for his position as the frontman for folk-rock band The Gaslight Anthem, however they went on hiatus on 2015, and it is unknown as to whether they will reform anytime in the near future. Fallon released a solo album earlier this year titled Painkillers and is coincidentally touring with the Crowes, a backing group made up of members of his side project The Horrible Crowes (whose songs he also performed) and other members of The Gaslight Anthem.

Supporting them were Dead Swords and Chris Farren, although sadly we only managed to catch Farren due to an early stage time. Farren performed a fun set, including a version of Songs For Teenagers by the band Fake Problems (who he is the frontman of, and which The Gaslight Anthem have also done a cover of), as well as a cover of Bamboo Bones by Against Me. The crowd was a bit flat but he provided some good stage chat and proved to be an eccentric character.

After a bit of a wait, it was finally time for the headliners to take to the stage. They headed straight in with Painkillers (which live sounds very much like Brian might have been listening to Ben E. King’s Stand By Me when writing), before performing a slew of fan favourites including Nobody Wins and Honey Magnolia. Brian was animated as usual on stage, and anyone who has seen him perform before will know just how funny the guy is. He could genuinely be a stand-up comedian, with a talent for swift comebacks and comments to the crowd that would fare him well on stage.

The only major issue was the audience. There didn’t seem to be that much warmth generated from them (perhaps due to the early stage times) and there were a lot of people talking, especially through quieter songs like Steve McQueen which quickly got irritating. We saw Brian perform the day after in Liverpool and the audience was much better, with a lot of banter being exchanged between artist and fan.

Other highlights of the evening included a cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, as well as a stomping run through of Mojo Hand and Rosemary. The second half of the set was definitely the better half, with the absence of an encore to fit more songs in meaning that there was no dip in the atmosphere as there often is with such things. The highlight of the evening was a roaring version of Horrible Crowes song Mary Ann which has been turned into a full-on punk stomp, with another favourite being the last song of the night – a beautiful acoustic cover of Linoleum by NOFX. An excellent evening for the most part, and a gig well worth seeing.