Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Sheepdogs @ Point Éphémère, Paris - June 12th, 2019

If you're my age then you've missed the golden age of classic rock by at least forty years. Being old has its advantages, one of them being that you could have seen Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Bad Company, the Outlaws, Humble Pie or Creedence Clearwater Revival in their heyday. The good news is that the Sheepdogs are the next best thing to actually having lived through one of the best eras for rock music.

Everything from their guitar and vocal harmonies down to the riffs, melodies and even their outfits is a throwback to those glory days. But they are not revivalists: this is not a posture, or a tribute band. These guys are authentic, and their take on that music is legitimate, reverent and most of all fun.

I still tend to think of them as a new band but in reality they've been around over a decade and they have released six LPs. Their latest one, Changing Colours, is probably their best yet, and numerous excerpts were played last night in the hot, sweaty Point Éphémère, a great club in the 10th arrondissement that was jam packed.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Bowskill is one of rock's most gifted young players and each of his intervention is incendiary, a potent mix of blues and country that is the perfect foil for singer Ewan Currie's melodies. The vocal harmonies are pitch perfect, the energy palpable but the best thing about the band is their material, solid anthem-like song that would would stand proudly on any of their inspirations' records. The proof is that when they ended their set with a fiery version of Ramblin' Man, it didn't feel like a cover but more like a familiar original.

It's not often that you witness a classic in the making. By digging through its past, the Sheepdogs are building the future of  rock and roll.

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