Spiritualized, all photos by Matthew Carroll
British space-rockers Spiritualized delivered a soulful 2-hour long set to a packed house at DC’s 930 Club Thursday night. Nashville-based country songstress Nikki Lane opened. Spiritualized is on tour of the US now in support of their seventh studio album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, released in April on Double Six Records.
Southern country singer Nikki Lane
made toes tap and heads bounce with her smart, sassy tunes, bringing to mind at times a young Loretta Lynn. Originally from South Carolina, Lane ended up in Nashville by way of Los Angeles and New York. Though her album Walk of Shame
features a full band, including twangy steel guitar, Lane’s songs still stood up when played solo on acoustic guitar. Highlights of her set included the runaway tale “Gone, Gone, Gone
“, super-twangy “Western Bound”, and the bouncy “Walk of Shame.”
Spiritualized is the psychedelic-space-rock project of Jason Pierce, formerly of Spacemen 3. On stage Thursday night Pierce was backed by bass, guitar, drums, keys, and 2 female back-up singers. The sound they brought to the 930 club was almost a continuous hypnotic jam of bass grooves, effects laden guitars, and keys with equal parts extra-terrestrial, gospel, stoner and soul influences woven in, lyrics heavy with religious references.
They started their set off with an instrumental jam, leading into the upbeat, high-sprited rock & roll hit “Hey Jane”, the first single from Sweet Heart Sweet Light. The back-up singers, dressed in short,white dresses added a 60s-gospel vibe to the otherwise Brit-rock-psychedelia going on. Additional highlights from the newest album were the mournful, soulful “Mary” and the groovy “I am What I Am.” The other high points in the set for me came from older albums. “Soul on Fire” from Songs in A&E and “She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)” from Amazing Grace were standouts. They ended their set and had the crowd swaying with the rousing epic “Come Together” from 2009’s Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and encored with another gem from that album, “Cop Shoot Cop.”