The Cadillac Three
Live in London 9th November 2015
Words by Claire Weston Photos by Tim Nicholson for The Cadillac Three Drinking Club
The Cadillac Three stopped off in London, amidst their hectic US tour schedule with Chase Rice, to play a sold out show at the O2 Academy Islington. Lead singer and guitarist Jaren Johnston, lap steel player Kelby Ray and drummer Neil Mason kicked off their set with Days of Gold, a song written by Jaren and Neil, and originally recorded by Jake Owen. The band made their entrance to the stage to a rapturous applause from the crowd, and the mid-song drumming duet from Jaren and Neil only added to the buzz in the room.
While sharing that it took 2 1/2 hours for them to get from Heathrow Airport to their hotel earlier in the day, the band soon announced that back on stage in London felt ‘good to be home’. Throughout the show, the band continuously shared their love of playing in the UK, admiring how appreciative the audiences are of every single song. The Cadillac Three have sold out every single headline show they have played here, and the audience responded by keeping up momentum for the whole set, singing back the song lyrics at every opportunity.
The band made their way through a catalogue of songs from their debut album, which was released back in May 2013, including Tennessee Mojo, Get Your Buzz On, Whiskey Soaked Redemption and Back It Up. There was also the addition of newer songs Peace, Love and Dixie and Party Like You from their recent EP, and the band were energetic and passionate from start to finish. The Cadillac Three have drawn a big rock crowd in the UK and played Download Festival earlier in the year, yet they still have a heavy amount of country influence. While Jaren rocked a Metallica t-shirt, Kelby sported an Eric Church t-shirt, further bridging the gap between rock and country. They referenced the ever growing country scene here, before launching into Keith Urban and Eric Church’s hit song Raise ‘Em Up, of which Jaren has writing credits on.
My personal highlight was White Lightning, as it is not only a beautiful and relatable story, but it also showcases stunning vocals from Jaren and gives Kelby’s lap steel a much bigger chance to shine. Ending with crowd favourite The South, the 800-strong crowd began to sing along after the first few bars of the intro, leaving the band looking awestruck. The atmosphere alone made it clear why The Cadillac Three are continually selling out every show they play here, and it was only the curfew on the venue that stopped them playing all night!
With a new album due out early next year, The Cadillac Three return for a full UK tour next January and February.