Live Review
Two Gallants
Hoxton Sq Bar & Kitchen
Hoxton, London

After an extended live hiatus (their last UK shows were some three years ago), Two Gallants are back, and judging by both the sweaty cramming of tonight’s venue and the blistering reception at this, their second of two sold out shows here, there’s been no tail-off in appetite for the duo’s sometimes vicious/sometimes melodic folk-punk.

While it looks as if much of their time away may have been spent growing facial hair, they also have a fistful of new songs to play us. Before that, they get the big hit out of the way early; ‘Steady Rollin’ drops a few songs in, and as that gentle opening riff rings out, Adam Stephens breaks into a rare smile. “I come from the old time, baby”, he sings, and seeing as the fire and spirit with which these guys perform tonight is biblical, who can argue with him?

The righteous fury of ‘Las Cruces Jail’ and the crazy waltz of ‘Nothing To You’ follow in quick succession. The pair are masters of cracked melodies and lacerated story-telling, and the new songs tonight follow that tradition – a couple of more melancholy, lamenting numbers, and one which sounds like the White Stripes playing heavy metal. Welcome back, Two Gallants.

By Chris Watkeys