His Lordship (Norwich Arts Centre 14 April 2023)

Our first encounter with His Lordship was an absolutely blistering set at the brilliant Red Rooster festival a couple of years ago. We were therefore delighted to get the chance to see them again especially with the promise of an album on the horizon. The first thing we should say is that on arrival, the Norwich Arts Centre is possibly the poshest venue you’ll see a rock n roll band. Certainly in terms of the entrance and bar, the music hall itself is a great size and a great environment to see a band.

His Lordship are certainly a stylish band, both in terms of dress and performance. They hit the stage with an immediate burst of noise and energy. Their sound echoes the past in terms of having a fifties vibe, delivered with a seventies punk aggression. It’s a winning combination which manages to be both ‘retro’ but very relevant.

The beauty of the band is in how raw they feel. Indeed, the only band to have recently captured this sound as well, is the various acts associated with Jim Jones. Their sound has that same feel of pent up frustration being released. They also add that little bit of showmanship which makes a good band a great live act. A special mention to the drummer who has an Elvis Costello look and is pure rock n roll in his playing style. He even gets the chance to sing later in the set and is an absolute star!

Of course none of this would mean as much without some great songs and His Lordship certainly have those. A particular favourite was “Jackie Works For The NHS” which has the feel of classic Costello punk pop. They can easily shift the sound to a dirtier blues vibe with tracks like “The Way I Walk”. But whatever different sounds or influence are shown through the set, it is abundantly clear that songs like “I Live In The City” are just pure rock n roll. As the set built we kept coming back to how ‘raw’ the songs sound but also how outstanding the musicianship was. On songs like “Amsterdam” it’s also incredible how huge their sound is for a three piece.

They end the set with “Red Hot” which is a pretty neat summarisation of His Lordship and this gig. The Norwich crowd certainly loved every moment of it. For us it was a reminder of the pure joy that can be delivered from rock n roll. You may have had people like Jack White earning a decent buck from a dirty blues sound but it’s great to have a UK band like His Lordship showing what proper rock n roll is really all about.


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