Rebecca Pronsky and Little Robots: The Green Room, Sheffield

You would never think, on the face of it, that Rebecca Pronsky is from New York.  Her music is more reminiscent of a sound you would associate more with the southern states of America. It is heavily imbued with a country twang but has a darker barroom feel running through it. At times, you could close your eyes and be mistaken that she’s a female incarnation of Chris Isaak.

Whippoorwill have pulled a blinder in bringing the New York singer-songwriter to the Green Room. Sadly, the venue is pretty quiet this evening, but the lack of the usual crush only makes the night that bit more special. The Green Room really is a lovely venue as long as it’s not too full!

I’m never quite sure how many people are officially in Little Robots, it seems to fluctuate quite a bit, but tonight we have three. I’ve wanted to see them live for a while now, but have somehow managed to keep missing them. They do not disappoint, playing a very impressive set which utilises a menagerie of instruments including a ukulele and violin. Ric even does something slightly worrying to a banjo with a bow.  Laura has a wonderfully powerful voice, which takes over the Green Room for duration of their performance. The quirky ‘Bullshit’ and ‘The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea’ are the highlights of what is an impressive set.

A dropped guitar (seemingly unhurt) doesn’t manage to dampen Rebecca and Rich’s enthusiasm this evening; the Brooklyners play a skilful set of darkly-tinged country music and real life tales, smiles on their faces throughout. Combining songs from her new album, Viewfinder, along with older numbers, they clearly love what they do and are really enjoying themselves. Rebecca’s history as a jazz singer and Rich’s (and he bares a distracting resemblance to a mini Nick Cave) in a math rock band add an extra dimension to what is, in essence, alt-country. The night is littered with anecdotes, as the music and bonhomie flows.

The radio-friendly ‘Hard Times’ is probably the song that leaps out the most at you, but the performance is full of quality. ‘Shame’ and ‘Day of the Dead’ are great songs and their cover of ‘Another’ is definitely a high point. A marvellous evening all round.

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