Seeing Rusty Shackle live is always a pleasure, and to see them in front of a local crowd is the icing on the cake – whilst in the earlier years of their career I’ve enjoyed shows of theirs where they’ve played in front of a handful of people, it just feels fantastic to be a part of a crowd that is totally behind them.
Opening the night was CwCw, whose genre didn’t quite seem to fit in with the rest of the lineup, but nevertheless they put on a good show and the way you could see how immersed the band was in their performance was fantastic to bear witness to. When a band is so in-tune with their music and each other, it really gives them a boost and I enjoyed their set as a result.
Over the six or so years that I’ve been a fan of Rusty Shackle, I’ve seen them on many lineups where none of the bands or artists have really matched, but Ofelia‘s style of energetic indie-folk music couldn’t have been a more perfect fit, and the five-piece put on a tremendous performance from start to finish, nicely warming up the crowd for the main attraction.
There was a great atmosphere in the room between crowd and band alike, with everyone having a good time on and off the stage – it was infectiously enjoyable and what made it even better was that the band was really tight and together, moving as a unit with wonderful melodies and harmonies. I just couldn’t help wishing I knew their songs so I could get a little more involved, but that’s what next time is for, right?
Anticipation was growing as Rusty Shackle got ready to come onstage and the cheers filled the room as they launched into the first song of the evening, When The Morning Comes, which got people moving and singing along right from the get-go, before the band powered through a fantastic mix of old and new songs. Indeed, an early highlight came in the form of a somewhat reworked version of one of their older songs A Fight For The Queen, which had a darker and moodier edge to it – and it really worked for them!
Indeed, the thing about a Rusty Shackle show is that it’s always good fun, with the band exchanging jokes and interacting with the crowd well, and they’re a band that can keep a smile on your face from the opening chords right through to the closing note of the last song of the night. A particularly great moment came when they performed their rendition of Cumberland Gap (something I haven’t heard them do in years!) where they basically try and get through the song as quick as they can!
Later on in the set, the room was in for a treat as the band welcomed Remy Beasley onto the stage in order to perform their duet track Moving On, and it was rather beautiful to witness the emotion dripping from the vocals for this rather heartfelt and moving song.
Rounding off the performance with fan-favourite 3am before returning (a word used in the loosest sense, as the six-piece didn’t leave the stage!) for an encore of The Bones, it was a fantastic end to an all-round fantastic night. Rusty Shackle is a band that always gives 110% with their performances and this was no exception.
Rusty ShackleCardiff Clwb Ifor Bach - 29th April, 2017
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com