The group have been growing in stature and sophistication with every album since 2008's debut Punch, and their latest release (led by 10 minutes of Familiarity) is a meditation on technology and its pitfalls, by turns poignant and tragicomic. It seems fitting that quiet concern about the modern way should be expounded by a group of bluegrass musicians led by a man on a mandolin (Chris Thile), but there are few ways in which PB really conform to type. Young, sharply dressed, and exceptionally talented, they continue to spearhead a surprising renaissance in acoustic Americana which is being called 'prog-grass' in some circles, 'newgrass' in others.
Whatever you care to call it, the group continue to push boundaries compositionally and technically, and The Phosphorescent Blues showcases an impressive lyrical development, and the guiding hand of legendary guitarist and producer T-Bone Burnett, who also picked the band for a spot on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.
Supporting Punch Brothers will be Glasgow's Rachel Sermanni, a 23-year-old with over 600 shows already behind her (putting her 8th in last year's PRS survey of the country's hardest-working musicians) and a style that haunts and charms in equal measure. With second LP Tied To The Moon weeks away from release, it's an exciting time for one of Scotland's most highly-rated young talents. Check out The Fog from her 2012 debut Under Mountains for a taste of Rachel's softly-spoken, lilting tone that has drawn comparison to Laura Marling, and earned her supporting slots for Fink, KT Tunstall and even Elvis Costello.
|What||Punch Brothers, Southbank Centre|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
On 01 Aug 15, 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
|Price||£22.50 + booking|
|Website||Click here for tickets via Southbank Centre|