'Live At Crossroads’ Adrian Nation - achingly observant lyrics, lingering memorable melodies(February 22, 2014)
Live albums prompt one of two reactions – wondering why because it’s so badly recorded or wondering why you’ve been waiting so long for the artist to unleash their live potential on an album. So between ‘why did they bother’ and ‘why has this taken so long’, I approach ‘live albums’ with some trepidation. That’s why this one made my day. Singing and playing with a combined richness and raw openness, Adrian Nation offers a selection of self-penned songs and one instrumental on ‘Live At Crossroads’ and I for one can’t help but question why it’s taken so long for this live album to appear. Perhaps not the most well-known singer-songwriter (I can’t understand why) this man writes achingly observant lyrics delivered across lingering and memorable melodies.
The breadth of music is reflected in the expanse between individual songs spread across the years, from the opening spoken words of ‘The Coming of the Day’ with its deeply poetic feel and riveting guitar, through the instrumental dexterity on display in ‘Five Finger Rapids’ - ample demonstration were any needed of one man’s command over his chosen instrument, to a quite frankly outstanding rendition of ‘Vincent Black Lightning’ - if you decide to cover a Richard Thompson song you’d better know what you’re doing, no worries here, Adrian hits it with guitar and vocals. The scope also includes the reassuring sympathy of ‘Brightest Star’, the piercingly perceptive ‘The Dying of Democracy’ and the evocative reflection of ‘Set Fire to the Sky’, with its sparse but perfectly-placed vocals and haunting guitar.
Reviewer: Charlie Elland