Live Music

Society at The Bell

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Posted on 23rd July 2012


The Bell, Bath

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Society puts out the maximum possible music for a trio. Guitar, bass and drums are nothing new, but when the guys that play them sing together like Crosby Stills and Nash and play together like the Rolling Stones, you're beginning to get the idea.

This is a band – and it truly is a band – that unabashedly takes its cue from the great music of the early 70s, particularly the two bands just cited. It was a time that was more than just these groups, a time that really prized songwriting – think the Laurel Canyon scene that spawned Jackson Browne, The Eagles, partly The Byrds, JD Souther, Neil Young, even Tom Waits. Where Keith Richards was hanging out with Gram Parsons — a big influence on Society.

Their songs are good – very good - without sounding imitative, nailing a far more muscular West Coast groove. At The Bell, they drew equally from their two albums, Songs From The Brickhouse and A Crooked Mile, both available on CD Baby, and threw in a rocking version of the Stones' hilariously politically incorrect Factory Girl.

Matt Wise sings lead, plays some damn good guitar and writes the songs; Ben Lancaster plays super solid but fluid Fender bass with an amazing sound and sings perfect close harmony ; F Scott Kenny sings the high Graham Nash style harmonies and plays drums like Charlie Watts. This is a terrific band. They are ballsy enough; they should come back and play a nighttime gig.

Charley Dunlap



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