Daniel Romano and the Trilliums
Jumping Hot Club — The Cluny
31 August 2014
I was surprised to find support act The Black Feathers were actually a Folk duo; as headline act Daniel Romano couldn’t be more of a traditional Country act if he’d came on-stage astride Roy Rogers horse Trigger.
Husband and wife, Ray and Sian aka The Black Feathers were certainly very good at what they do; interspersing their melodic folk songs with some very agreeable harmonies; and quality songs like ‘Sick and Tired’, ‘You Will Be Mine’ and ‘Feel My Love’ are all worth a second listen and I’m sure will bring quite a few of tonight’s audience back to see them on their next visit.
In the short break while the stage was reconfigurated several semi-famous faces from the local musical glitterarti drifted past me; drinks in hand – a sure sign that the main act was going to be worth seeing.
Looking every inch the Star Romano now sans moustache, and the five piece Trilliums took up their instruments with a minimum of fuss before he nodded and asked; “Everybody Alright? 1-2-3-4!”
Opening with ‘Dave and Jon’ the next two minutes were an absolute delight as pedal steel, tight drums and bass, an acoustic guitar, a funky fiddle and Romano’s own Twangful Gretsch filled the Cluny’s smallest room.
The next thirty minutes or so were a pure joy as the band delighted us with a series of delightful ballads and slow burners featuring Daniel Romano’s countrified warble and a band that wouldn’t be out of place on the Opry stage. At one stage the singer even introduced acoustic guitarist Jenny Berkel who went on to sing a a sultry song featuring some delicious brushed drums, pedal-steel and exquisite fiddle.
A couple of songs later multi-instrumentalist Kay Berkel was brought centre stage to join Romano for a duet of George and Tammy standard; ‘Just Between You and Me’ was a heart-breaker of epic proportions; showcasing Daniel’s tender side and the younger Berkel’s seductive voice.
While I was thoroughly enjoying the concert; it was all a bit ‘one paced’ and as if the singer had read my mind; the pace immediately picked up with the Commander Cody flavoured truck driving song ‘Chicken Bill’ and it was just what the Doctor ordered and the rest of the show really began to flow.
For me the best song of the night came fourteen songs in; and it was a ‘cheating song’; ‘Time Forgot’ that went on to showcase the brilliant musicianship of the band, pedal-steel, fiddle, guitars et al.
It was only when Romano introduced the final song of the set; ‘Lines On My Face’ with a jokey story about why he wants to re-introduce the word ‘felicitations’ into the common language; that I realised that he’d hardly uttered two words between songs earlier in the evening; which was a bit of a shame.
The obligatory encore followed and much to my surprise it was a jig that had Kay centre stage again; but this time showcasing her fiddling talents; and allowing the rest of the band, once again to show how good they all were.
When that ended the band began to decamp off stage but the applause was so loud and generous; Romano returned to perform solo; and what a song it was. Sadly I don’t know the title but it included the brilliant chorus ‘She would rather be homeless/than stay at home with me.’
Prior to tonight I’d only been aware of both acts from their adverts in the music press; so I had very few preconceived notions as to what I could expect; and all in all it was a pure joy from start to finish.