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Words and photographs – Graeme Wright

Additional photographs – Nicola Warren


Sometimes the best nights out happen when you aren’t expecting them. It was lashing it down with rain when we began the hour’s journey up to the magical Waterloo Bar in Blackpool. I’d heard the latest album from The Damn Truth and thought it was excellent, even though the band lean a touch further towards the Blues than my normal fayre. My first surprise was that the show was packed out before support band Empyre had even hit the stage and some of the people I spoke to had travelled hundreds of miles to see The Damn Truth. After a fabulous set from Empyre, I was curious to see if the headliners could keep up the momentum.

The band bounced onto the stage and launched straight into ‘This Is Who We Are Now’ and it’s immediately clear that the band are turbo driven and much more aggressive in the flesh than on vinyl. The crowd are fully in tandem with the band straight from the off and is dancing, singing and swaying to the music immediately. Tom Shemer is a proper rock star with his glowing silk shirt and his nonchalant style as he strolls around the stage getting impossible sounds out of his guitar. PY Letellier catches the eye of the singer and is smiling, clearly having the time of his life and immediately picking up on the intensity of this crowd. Drummer Dave Traina makes everything look easy and is a driving force for the band. Lee-la Baum is a force of nature. One of the best singers and performers I’ve seen in forty-plus years of going to gigs, she gives everything to this performance and has a voice to die for. She wouldn’t have been out of place on the stage at Woodstock and I suspect this will be the first of many occasions that I catch this band perform.

The set is perfect as we switch from all-out rockers like ‘Full On You’ and ‘Too Late’ to heady slower Blues tracks like ‘Lonely’ and arena-style epic ‘Only Love’. One of the regulars is stood next to me dancing and shaking his head, all the while shouting “Oh my God, Oh my God”. The crowd were so into this show I wouldn’t have been surprised if some of them had started speaking in tongues! ‘Devilish Folk’ sets things up nicely for ‘Get With You’ which has the whole place jumping. At some stage of the proceedings, the guitar player is in the middle of the crowd and doesn’t miss a note. The set closes with ‘Tomorrow’ from the new album and the crowd is baying for more. The band duly play an encore, a cover of U2’s ‘Love Is Blindness’ and then ‘Heart Is Cold’ for the finale. After the show the band happily mingle with the crowd, talking to fans and posing for photographs and it’s obvious that there has been a real connection between the artist and the audience tonight.

This show is everything that is fabulous about Rock music when it is being performed live in a proper music venue. As a friend of mine says, “Live music is good for the soul.” It is indeed, and I for one will be back for more from this band I’d just like to thank them for a wonderful night.


Lee-la Baum – Vocals/Guitar

Tom Shemer – Guitar/Vocals

PY Letellier – Bass/Vocals

Dave Traina – Drums/Vocals


  1. This Is Who We Are Now
  2. Full On You
  3. Too Late
  4. Lonely
  5. Only Love
  6. Look Innocent
  7. The Fire
  8. Devilish Folk
  9. Get With You
  10. Tomorrow
  11. Love Is Blindness
  12. Heart Is Cold

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