Fionn Regan – Nottingham Bodega Social Club, Monday October 22
Boosted by the recent Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album The End Of History, Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan faced a curious and respectful capacity crowd, at the start of his UK tour.
Aided by a four-piece band, the fifty-minute show kicked off in surprisingly muscular fashion, before quietening for an extended run of sparse, intense, folk-meets-alt-country numbers whose poetic, deeply personal lyrics defied instant analysis. From then on, the band had little to do other than add the subtlest of backings to Regan’s reflective, accusing, somewhat embittered balladry.
Stylistically and lyrically, the songs leant towards America, bearing distinct vocal similarities to Ryan Adams’ early solo work. Perhaps the best received song was the excellent Put The Penny In The Slot, which namechecked the authors Paul Auster and Saul Bellow.
Saving the single Be Good Or Be Gone until last, Regan unplugged his guitar and delivered the song without amplification. It was a brave conclusion to a highly promising set.