Preview // Judah and the Lion // O2 Apollo Manchester // 31.10.17
Judah and the Lion is now one of those bands that can’t easily be classified or explained without lots of arm movements and sighing. The Nashville band started in 2011 and released their first EP Sweet Tennessee in 2013, a bluegrass-folk fusion that unified the 6 tracks. Shortly afterwards in 2014 they released their debut album Kids These Days, a record fuelled by banjo/mandolin strumming and mega catchy melodies. The opening track ‘Kickin’ da Leaves’ bursts with folky energy from start to finish whilst subtler tracks such as ‘Twenty-Somethings’ and ‘Scared’ still carry an underlying toe-tapping bluegrass rhythm. Two years later Judah and the Lion produced their second studio album aptly named Folk Hop n’ Roll. This was when things got complicated. Distorted vocals, manipulated banjo riffs, hip-hop vibes, rap (!!) as well as – of course – the underlying Lumineers-eske acoustic folk sound. This amalgam of musical genres somehow coheres perfectly and was illustrated by the popularity of their single ‘Take it all Back’ reaching No. 1 on Billboards Alternative Songs chart for three weeks. After releasing a deluxe version of the album earlier this year, with four additional tracks such as the incredible ‘Conversations’, they have embarked on an Autumn tour of the States. They will then will be popping over the pond for 5 shows in the UK before reaching the rest of Europe. Judah and the Lion will be playing their unique folk-hop sound at the Manchester Apollo with Icelandic band Kaleo on the 31st October.