Country music is typically known as the sound of rural America and Australian cowboys. But, there’s no rule that says a band from northeast England can’t successfully rock the sound just as well. That’s precisely what the Lee Paul Band did on November 9th at Caedmon Hall in Gateshead.
The seven member country-rock outfit played to a packed house of 250 fans who committed themselves to “getting out of their seats to dance and sing to Lee Paul Band songs,” says lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Lee Paul Lamb.
Last summer, banjo and mandolin player Brian Boyd spoke of the band’s genesis to Chronicle Live. At the time, the group had only been playing together for roughly 18 months. “Lee got us all together to start the debut album,” he says. “So, to help us gel as a band we entered a competition called Live and Unsigned where we progressed to the final at the O2 in London [in 2012].”
Lamb describes their sound as “modern country with a twist,” and says his goal is to “integrate genres and create unique country-rock music that can be appreciated by a wide audience.” He also notes that while the group finds themselves in rare air as a country music band in England, “we have amazingly loyal fans who inspire us to continue, and we’ve become much stronger as a band thanks to their encouragement and support.”
Aside from Boyd and Lamb, the band also features bassist David Roughton, lead guitarist Alex Young, vocalist Lauren Shaw, keyboardist Mike Gatto and percussionist Ali Garner. Members appreciate several styles of music, ranging from country and folk, to jazz, blues and pop-rock. Contemporary country from the likes of Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Jake Owen and Luke Bryan have influenced the group’s sound.
Lamb wrote the 12 songs on their recently released debut album Red, White & Blue. “There’s 10 years of my life in these songs,” he states, “telling a story of my past, present and very bright future. In this wonderful music world, there are no spare moments and nothing more important than making my music to share with anyone and everyone.”
The group used Facebook and interviews with various media outlets to promote their concert, and Lamb says that minding the details is essential in having a live show come off without a hitch. “Plan everything down to the little things,” he notes, since the minutiae of a live concert can easily make or break the event.