We Love Music: Spiritualized, Nikki Lane @ 930 Club, 5/10/2012

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.

Nikki Lane

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.”

Alexia Kauffman

Alexia was born and raised in Arlington, VA. She has been a cellist since age four, and a lover of rock & roll soon after. The first tape she owned was “Make It Big” by Wham, and the first tape she bought was Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” and she still loves both. She was a member of local synth-rock outfit Soft Complex for several years, and has recorded with bands including Engine Down and Two if By Sea. By day she works for a non-profit distributing royalties to musicians and labels. She currently plays cello, lap-steel guitar and tambourine in the DC post-folk/Americana band The Torches.

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