The Pennoyer Centre, Pulham St Mary
Review by: Oliver Scanlan
The talented, rising stars Arkansas Dave, the American band who performed an incredible set at the The Pennoyer Centre, define their music as Americana but that really doesn’t do their performance justice. Although it clearly has its roots in American blues, the music channels a range of genres, varying from R&B and Reggae to blues with a rock vibe. But to them it’s just “straight up rock and roll”.
Coming from Camden, Arkansas, Arkansas Dave and his band have made their way around Europe performing in places like Switzerland, Germany and touring the UK (including our very own Pulham St Mary). Asking Dave (lead vocalist) and Drew (lead guitarist) about why it is that they didn’t try to build up their reputation in their home country, Dave responded by saying that: “Jimi Hendrix did it the best, he wasn’t anything in the States until he came over here first.” and later referred to it jokingly as “the Jimi Hendrix business model”! Despite doing shows in Nashville and other US venues, Dave said “truly, I feel that UK and European audiences are a lot more respectful and really do value the music as an art form”. This must be true as Arkansas Dave has come back to “Pennoyers” for a second gig because they had such a welcoming response the first time around – “We keep getting asked to come back so we must be doing something right”.
With a full house, they were rocking all night long. The crowd cheered and clapped, and at the end they were dancing in the aisles as the band played an encore. The lively atmosphere made the evening an all-round great experience for everyone. Drew even said that he would like to come back in the summer to do it all again but this time with the new album, which he said will be “a little more rockin’ and a little more blues based”. Here’s to the next time!