Restorations / Crazy Arm / Sam Russo - Live in Derby (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Restorations / Crazy Arm / Sam Russo

Live in Derby (2015)

live show

Restorations, Crazy Arm and Sam Russo marked the first in a string of summer shows to hit Derby, thanks mostly to the efforts of Collective Midlands. This tour package coming to the Midlands was a godsend.

Up first was Sam Russo who managed to draw in a decent sized early crowd, with his charming acoustic songs and fun banter. Sam does a good job, and has always in the past, of creating a good rapport with the audience early on, and is one of those rare people in the punk scene who can get the entire audience watching intently as he sings and strums an acoustic guitar.

Following Sam was Plymouth’s Crazy Arm, who have become somewhat of a rarer treat farther up north. They kicked things off with the acappella “The Valley Of Weeping”, later adding in some instrumentation. They swiftly moved through their set, playing songs like “Asphalt” and “Still to Keep” from their debut, Born to Ruin. When they got to Peggy Seeger’s “Song of Choice” - updated a few years back to counter the fascist BNP, they added a fiddle player which went a long way in completing their sound, and soon exploded into their classics, “Tribes” and the energetic “Broken by the Wheel” to end with. They’re an incredibly intense, tight live band.

Headliners Restorations were now ready to start, and immediately made their way through some select tracks from their latest release LP3 which was released last year. Those tracks made up the majority of their set, as the band showed off their musical talent - at times there were three guitars being played, and all felt entirely necessary, as the keys added layers to the tracks and the rhythm section had their own stand out moments. Tracks like "D" from the now-classic LP2 unsurprisingly got the best responses, but everything went down very well.

I had not been particularly well-versed in Restorations’ catalogue before the show, but felt completely involved in their set and didn’t lose interest for a second. They’re a really great band, especially live, and on this tour they were lucky enough to have amazing support, too.