A debut appearance in Manchester; Introducing Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats to sell out gig at The Ruby Lounge, in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, it’s the perfect kind of joint for this seven piece bluesy band. Front man Nathaniel Rateliff is a singer-songwriter from Colorado. Rateliff has been in the music scene for years acclaimed for his folk-based, heartfelt song writing, he has now gained attention with Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, the soulful blues combo he formed in 2013.
The Night Sweats feature guitarist Joseph Pope, Mark Shusterman on keyboard and Patrick Meese on drums. Other band members on brass, Luke Mossman, Wesley Watkins and Andy Wild. There is excitement and anticipation from the crowd, it’s been a sometime coming, fans waiting to see this dynamic band, live for the first time. One by One they wonder on stage, as each member meet their instrument they begin to play their parts for ‘I Need Never Get Old’ which is also opening track on the album, the brass intro is the perfect build up for Rateliff’s welcome to the stage.
Rateliff presents us with his joyous smile “How’s everyone doing?” The band not just sounding authentic but also have the look too, all dressed in denim shirts and hats. “Is it a weekend or a weekday does anyone know? A Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday?” Fourth track in ‘I’ve been failing’ now the crowd really seem to be getting into the soulful jamming that Rateliff is encouraging.
Guitarist Joseph tips some drink into Rateliff’s mouth and they play the new record ‘Parlor’ “Another song you won’t recognise, it’s not on the record, a good one to dance with your partner” Every track is steeped in old soul and blues. The gig is heating up, as Rateliff wipes his brow with his patterned handkerchief he kept in his pocket “Thanks for coming out tonight, whatever night it is”.
Rateliff informs us “My best friends up here” and introduces the band, he tips his drink in their direction, before he downs the drink and drops the glass to the floor! great start to the track that everyone is waiting for, their hit single ‘S.O.B’ and with no disappointment the track is as good live, a real singalong-ready foot-stomper of a song. The reaction of the crowd continues not just after the band initially leave the stage but well into the encore, the crowd harmonising with the band over the next song, ‘The Shape I’m In’ which starts with a powerful drum solo, there is a buzz in the air as they drop back into ‘S.O.B’ to finish off. As he shakes his huge beard, waving his heavily tattooed arms about his sides “See you in the spring Manchester”.
Outside the venue the on the street the glowing fans continue to chant ‘S.O.B.’
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats seem to be having a moment right now. They really are a band to watch out for, if you like soulful blues or are fans of Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers you should check them out at the Ritz in March 2016.