Wood and Nails
Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
30 July 2016
It feels like a disservice to mention it, but one feels it’s pertinent to raise it – it’s Saturday night, 9pm, and Wood and Nails’ Paul Beaumont has had something of a bad day. A car crash notwithstanding, he was also forced to change drummers at the last minute. Add this to the fact this is Wood and Nails’ headline gig and you have a recipe for disaster…or not, as it turns out.
Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat seems particularly prudent for a band like Wood and Nails. After all, they have been raised on the weakened, the angry, the unappreciated. For Beaumont, he’s been schooled in the Bob Mould classes of catharsis, taking a Westerberg-sized slab of sensibility and enough traditional emo to make Davey von Bohlen blush.
So, with a locum drummer in tow (who was busy learning the songs backstage while the support acts impressed), it’s fair to say Beaumont approaches the stage gingerly.
However, any fears are dispelled as soon as he breaks into a solo ‘acoustic’ number, Resolutions, which immediately throws away any worries as Beaumont’s breezy, sandpaper/smooth vocal delivery punctures the room. When it’s time for the full band, Beaumont’s cabal are extremely regimented – The Night Before comes across as a more introspective Descendents, a crackling, urgent guitar motif complimenting Beaumont’s rough rhythms.
All We’ll Ever Need is decorated with strong harmonies as well as a jagged guitar riff, while new single Sorrow has the ache of post-grunge, the kind that would permeate US radios circa 1998.
They say trouble comes in threes, but Beaumont well and truly admonishes this with such a sterling, polished set. The drummer, though, most certainly earned his post-show pint.