Richmond Fontaine – Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Tuesday October 9th
Having won rave reviews in magazines such as Uncut and Mojo for their understated, literate brand of alternative country, Oregon four-piece Richmond Fontaine have been steadily building a solid following in the UK, buoyed up by frequent visits to these shores. Now augmented by a fifth member, pedal steel guitarist Paul Brainard (who also doubles up on trumpet), the band’s latest tour sees them graduating to slightly larger venues.
Last night at the Rescue Rooms, opinions divided as to whether the intimacy of their previous shows had been diluted – a situation that wasn’t helped by the muddy amplification of affable front man Willy Vlautin’s capable, if undemonstrative, vocals. For a band whose narrative-style lyrics are such a cornerstone of their appeal, this worked significantly against them. That said, older tracks such as Post To Wire and White Line Fever were well received, and an atmosphere of studious geniality mostly prevailed.