• Malvika Padin

St Paul & The Broken Bones Capture You With Their Soulful Sound at Rock City

Grit, elemental rhythm, tight-as-a-drumhead playing, and a profound depth of feeling: these are the promises of a great soul band. And St. Paul & The Broken Bones deliver on those promises.

Eight-piece soul band St Paul and The Broken Bones from Birmingham, Alabama took the stage at Rock City in Nottingham this past Saturday, for the penultimate show of their two-and-a-half-month European tour.

With grit, elemental rhythm, and a profound depth of feeling, the band belted out music that captured the audiences – a mix of old and new generations- as they swayed and bopped along to songs spanning the band three albums since their formation in 2012.

Receiving support from Los Angeles quartet The Americans who amp up the crowds perfectly, the show promises excitement right from the beginning.Starting off with a band as frontman Paul Janeway sashays onto stage wearing a sequinned cape. And though with slightly less sparkly attire, the rest of the band still match up to the frontman as far as music prowess goes.

Beginning with the emotive Liv Without U from their new album Young Sick Camelia Janeway’s soaring vocals capture you, keeping your attention throughout the two-hour show, which seemed much too short a time by the end of it.

Then comes a throwback in the form of the lead singer’s personal favourite track Grass is Greener from their 2014 debut album Half the City, before transitioning into the upbeat Got It Bad.

It’s not just the vocals that remain memorable, as the musicians within the octet shine; with a trombone solo, followed by the saxophonist enrapturing the audiences with ballad Bruised Fruit. And even as their parting numbers Broken Bones and Pocket Change play, the energy levels in the room appears not to have dipped in the slightest.

Fevered claps, heavenly falsettos, and thoughtful lyricism seem to be the perfect way to describe this band, its music and its impactful presence. Mutual respect and admiration definitely seem to play a role in this band’s success as Janeway adoringly takes a moment within the set to introduce “the best band in the world”, and having discovered my hidden love for soul music, I’d be hard pressed not to agree with him.