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Sunday, 17th December 2017
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Bear With...Larkin Poe

Larkin PoeLarkin Poe aren't strangers to the big stage.  Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Cropedy for starters.  But if playing a small (but perfectly formed) venue like Darwen Library Theatre, as they did on Sunday 5th July bothered them, then it didn't show.

"We are going to rock you," promised Rebecca Lovell before she and sister Megan, launched into Sugar High, which was marred only by the backing vocal being almost lost in the mix.  Eighty minutes later, a standing ovation either side of the encore showed that it hadn't been an idle threat.  Darwen was indeed, rocked.

The bulk of the material came from the current album Kin, which contains more straight ahead rock than previous recordings, albeit that of a stripped back variety. This was the modus operandi here with Darren Stanley on drums and Kevin Scott on bass providing a solid rhythm section.

There were some departures though, most notably Mad as a Hatter, about their not quite plugged in Grandfather, which sounds demonic towards the end, as the voices inside a mad person's head might well do.   Not for the first time, your reviewer was looking for the guitarist who was providing the lead licks.  There was none.  The sounds came from Megan's lap steel.

The older Lovell provides a calming counterpoint to her younger sibling who has a confident but not over showy stage presence and an easy way with audience interaction.  At one point Rebecca professed a liking for the very English phrase, "bear with me," promising to adopt it, as well as slight puzzlement at the quiet between songs.

"It's anticipation, for what you're going to do next," explained a voice from the crowd, in an accent which also found approval.

After a bit of sing-a-long, we were in the home straight as the intensity ratcheted up a notch with Don't and Jailbreak.  There was bound to be an encore, and it arrived, with just the two girls, an acoustic guitar and a gentle cover of  Tom Petty's American Girl.  

A few flowery phrases in praise of the performance?  Not necessary. One departing member of the throng, a gentleman of a more mature vintage, nailed it in two short sentences.

"Them girls were good weren't they?  Jesus Christ they were."


- Les Pilling


Larkin Poe

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