Nicole Atkins tours across UK/Europe this month, starting on Thursday31-03-2019
It's been 10 years since Nicole Atkins released her debut, and criminally slept on, album Neptune City. She's returned recently with Goodnight Rhonda Lee which continues her odyssey of stark, frank songwriting, which is underpinned with glorious soul music that evokes classic Stax and Chess recordings.
The title track sums up everything that Atkins was trying to achieve on the album. The music bounces and swoons in equal measures. Through her descriptive lyrics, Atkins tells a story of moving on from your past, and embracing the future. The lyrics "Take the windows, Paint the midnight blue, You are on holding tight, To a life you out grew” sums this up perfectly.
Goodnight Rhonda Lee closes with A Night of Serious Drinking. It’s a sombre number in which Atkins confronts her past relationship demons. It feels like a song that would soundtrack an exploitation film from the 70s when the lead breaks up with his partner, goes walking through the city and hits the bars, thus showing his softer side. And this is what Atkins is doing here, showing that she can write thought-provoking ballads, as well as searing rockers.
What Atkins has effectively done on Goodnight Rhonda Lee is channelled the spirit of Nancy Sinatra’s Nancy and Lee with soaring horns, tender bass and phat drums, but made the lyrics contemporary and hard hitting. Goodnight Rhonda Lee never feels like a pastiche or a rip off of classic soul songs, but a celebration of the genre and life. This is an album by someone who knows exactly what she wants to say and how she wants to say it.
While on the verge of starting a European tour this week Nicole Atkins shared A Man Like Me, a song recorded with Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. This Thursday she hits the road with her band starting in Glasgow - most dates with Caleb Elliott supporting:
04/04: Glasgow (UK) @ The Blue Arrow º
05/04: Chester (UK) @ St Marys Creative Space º
07/04: Newcastle (UK) @ The Cluny 2 º
08/04: Leeds (UK) @ Brudenell Social Club º
09/04: Norwich (UK) @ Norwich Arts Centre º
10/04: Portsmouth (UK) @ The Wedgewood Rooms º
12/04: Haarlem (NL) @ Roots Of Heaven º
13/04: Hengelo (NL) @ Heartland Festival º
14/04: Venlo (NL) @ Down By The River º
16/04: Rotterdam (NL) @ Kantine Walhalla º
17/04: Cologne (DE) @ Blue Shell º
18/04: Munich (DE) @ Unter Deck º
20/04: Berlin (DE) @ Privatclub º
21/04: Schijndel (NL) @ Paaspop
22/04: Hamburg (DE) @ Nochtwache º
24/04: Gothenburg (SWE) @ Pustervik º
25/04: Stockholm (SWE) @ Brooklyn Bar º
26/04: Malmö (SWE) @ Folk å Rock º
28/04: Groningen (NL) @ Der Aa-Theatre º
30/04: London (UK) @ The Lexington º
º = w/ Caleb Elliott