It wasn’t so long ago that I last saw Sons and Daughter at York Fibbers with the Victorian English Gentlemens' Club as main support. That was a good gig,a thoroughly enjoyable night of music with a decent band. With my expectations high I join many others at the Cockpit in Leeds. It is good to see too these Scottish folk rockers play the main hall and not the smaller side room

As they take to the stage, there is the usual fumbling with instruments. The very pretty singer, Adele Bethel, has eyelashes bigger than an ostrich. She is wearing a yellow t-shirt which is just long enough to cover her thighs. With safety pins down both sides it all looks very punk rock. You do wonder if is she trying to do a Liz Hurley. Who knows and quite frankly who cares ? We are here to hear, listen and be entertained ,not to appreciate the finer points of fashion.

The set kicks off with ‘Nest’ from their new album and soon enough they play ‘Hurt’, ‘Red Receiver’ and ‘Guilt Complex’ before they take a breather and try to interact with the audience. Adele says that she can’t hear what the crowd is saying which is a shame. It’s always entertaining to hear the banter between crowd and band.

The rhythm section of Sons and Daughters are rock solid. Scott Paterson plays drums, while Ailidh Lennon, the bassist, is like John Entwhistle from the Who in her playing. He didn’t say much either but just played bass and kept the whole thing together. Scott keeps time as well as any metronome with thumping beats that gives lead guitarist, David Gow, plenty of time and scope to skate over the top.

The new album ‘The Gift’ sees Adele doing most of the vocals which seems to work very well. In the past David shared the vocals with her, but now sings less and less with each record released. Songs on ‘This Gift’ include some of Sons and Daughters' strongest material to date. It has some fine tunes and a lot of variety to keep you interested and is their most accessible album so far. The early albums had a country and western feel to them, but with each new record they seem to be losing that influence. It is a sign of their growing confidence and ability in themselves.

Tonight's set list features some of the best songs off the new album, but they play a good cross section of old material as well. Songs such as ‘Bell’, ‘Medicine’, ‘Dance Me In’ and ‘Johnny Cash’ are all thrown in and it finishes with ‘Goodbye Service’ which to me drones on a little. They could of ended with a better song, but that is nit picking to say the least.

Watching Sons and Daughters is always an enjoyable way of spending an evening and tonight is no exception. The sound is a little bit too bass-driven but after two or three songs that is corrected. At times Adele seems genuinely surprised at the warm reception the band receive from the crowd, but with a clutch of new songs in the offering and an album that is pleasure to listen to they shouldn’t be surprised by the applause that they receive. Their bashfulness, however, makes them even more endearing.

Sons and Daughters have been playing live for a few years now. They have supported some very average bands and have been playing some of the smaller clubs on the gig circuit for far too long. They have waited patiently in the wings for years biding their time. This album will see them rightfully take centre stage and bask in the limelight. It is a pleasure to see these guys emerge from their cocoon. What's even better is that we are not seeing a dull moth, but a spectular butterfly.

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Commenting On: Cockpit, Leeds, 8/2/2008 - Sons and Daughters

ie London, England

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