Jack Daniel’s JD Roots, Moles, Bath Thursday, June 13
People of Bath, we’re home,” grins Family Rain frontman Will Walter from the stage after blasting through a rollicking version of their single ‘Carnival’. “Let’s do this.”
The tiny 220-capacity basement of Moles, where they’ve returned for this JD Roots homecoming show, is the band’s spiritual home. It was where they made their debut as 15-year-olds competing in a Battle Of The Bands, and where they played two shows in one evening to a roomful of industry scouts the night they got signed. Tonight’s return is a celebration.
Their friends and fans are crashing around the room as the band launch into ‘Friction’, attempting to pull dance moves as the temperature in the sweatbox creeps higher. “We’re gonna get dirty tonight,” promises Will before ‘Reason To Die’, dropping a bit of local knowledge to the delight of the crowd: “We’re gonna get Oldfield Park dirty… fucking filthy.” If the howling tune that follows is anything to go by, with guitarist Ollie rattling off killer riffs, the residents of Oldfield Park must be desperately in need of a bar of soap.
After the bluesy ‘Waterfall’, ‘Don’t Waste Your Time On Me’ is the centerpiece of the set, a taut, raw and feral howl of a rock song, with Will’s voice breaking down as he admits “I will only let you down”.
By the time they close with a raucous version of debut single ‘Trust Me… I’m A Genius’ it’s impossible to miss just how much they’ve learned playing night after night in venues like this. The three Walter brothers, who recorded their forthcoming debut album at Berlin’s Hansa Studios earlier this year and are supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park next month, are about to explode. Mammoth gigs await them, but tonight, maybe for the last time, home is where their art is.
Kevin EG Perry