Jamie Lenman + Blank Atlas + Moosehead live @ the Junction, Plymouth - 18th May 2023
They say don't meet your heroes, don't they? They say you'll be disappointed, let down. Those people
Next up where the four members of Bristolian trio Blank Atlas and, no, I haven't lost the ability to count. Due to cancelled gig, the deputising bassist was no longer needed but they brought him along for the ride which meant a couple of songs with double bass work (i.e. two bassists, not one double bass). For three unassuming looking guys and a Weird Al lookalike, these guys make one hell of a racket but through all the blistering riffage shines some outstanding vocal harmonies, melodies to die for and the kind of hooks you could use to catch the Lochness Monster. The best bit, however, is how Blank Atlas bounce from West Coast skate punk vibe to Biffy's angular riffs to Dutch Uncles' improbable time signatures and the sheer power of Crazy Arm - all done with a demure smile, some gentle banter and more energy than the stage allowed them to burn off.
And so to heroes. Jamie Lenman is an artist I have oft championed both on and off this blog, a man who's honest song writing has got me through a number of difficult times and an icon unrecognised in his own time. So he was bound to let me and everyone else done, yeah? Well he didn't. Striding on to the stage with his brother and sister in arms, Lenman launched straight in to 'This Is All There Is', the brilliantly sobering opener to his latest album, 'The Atheist'. What nobody in the room expected was for Lenman and Co. to then play the whole album, in order of course, with 'Talk Hard', 'Lena Don't Leave Me' and 'This Town Will Never Let Us Go' being stand-out highlights.
Another highlight was the boundless enthusiasm, charm and chat that oozed from Lenman on stage like
Now, I don't mind admitting that I got a little star struck and found myself edging slowly to the back of the venue as every song I loved came pouring out of the speakers but the experience was absolutely everything I could have hoped for and much, much more. So, sure, I didn't exactly meet my hero but I spent a great evening in the same room as him and then bought a T-shirt of his wife who was running the merch stand so we're basically mates now, right? That's what I thought. Meet your heroes, it's ace.
The Junction - https://www.facebook.com/mutleyjunction
Jamie Lenman - https://www.facebook.com/jamielenman
Blank Atlas - https://www.facebook.com/BlankAtlasOfficial
Moosehead - https://www.facebook.com/mooseheadband