Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats in Wolverhampton review 'a delight of soulful rock'

“Good evening everyone, thanks for coming out on a Sunday evening. England just won, didn’t they? Otherwise it would have been a f***** miserable show.”

Nathaniel Rateliff has just addressed the crowd for the first time since opening his Wolverhampton gig with three jovial and uplifting songs. Despite that fair assessment - that an England loss would have left many a football fan upset - by the end there wasn’t one person who wasn’t left smiling.

The wait for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats was built up gently at The Halls Wolverhampton. The warm-up act William The Conqueror, a trio hailing from Cornwall, set a slow and steady tempo.

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But no one minded as it was a relaxed Sunday evening, the audience emanating good vibes from the get go. It took a little while for the energy to build up.

Twice the introductory act asked if the crowd were excited to see the main band, the second time generating a much louder response. “I knew you had it in you,” frontman Ruarri Joseph said.

William The Conqueror warmed up the crowd with a set of slow rock, consisting of long, lazy rifts and vocals. Heads were soon nodding along, the melodic juices flowing. The strobe lights turned a dark blue when they performed Wake Up, a particularly slow song, but they ended the set with a bouncy one called Move On, the energy kicking up a notch.

The crowd gave a huge cheers when Nathaniel Rateliff and his bandmates took to the stage soon after, with a few fluorescent balloons soaring into the air near the front. What came next was a masterclass of soulful rock, each song differing in notes, tones and emotions - sometimes in small amounts and others in much greater.

After opening with Suffer Me, Nathaniel led a performance of Intro with a tambourine and the crowd was fully engaged, clapping along and singing away to the chorus. The Night Sweats followed up with I Need Never Get Old, the performance maintaining that high energy with the crowd.

Audience members were bopping, clapping and whistling. Hints of the saxophone came over the drums towards the end, which was met with a great cheer. Everyone was having a good time.

After Nathaniel had addressed the crowd, the tempo was slowed back down with I'm On Your Side. Then the songs began to diversify in flavour. The band let off zesty guitar riffs for Survivor and ended with strong notes on the saxophone again.

The piano came on strongly alongside the guitar for You Worry Me, giving the song a pop and country-esque vibe to it. Nathaniel then said: "How you all doing?" and he was greeted by a loud chorus of "woos", the audience loving the gig, before he gave a sample of their new music. One of the tracks was acoustic-heavy with a strong performance from the electric guitar.

Audience members continued joining in as the songs went by and Nathaniel showed his appreciation, saying: "It's amazing to see you sing along." The music shifted again to a slower, blues-type of sound before a woman from the crowd shouted: "I love you." "Ah, I love you too," Nathaniel declared, him and his bandmates clearly enjoying the Wolverhampton crowd.

The music remained slow going into And It's Still Alright, which was a gentle and thought-provoking song that you'd play after a hard day. It was sung deep from Nathaniel's soul, the audience listening closely. Then Nathaniel told the hall that it was about "anxiety and depression", prompting supportive whistles and a thumbs up from the audience. "Mental health is a frontier, you guys have always been there for me, I love you guys," he said.

The sad and sombreness continued with Face Down in the Moment, the piano keys setting the rhythm before it ended with a deep bass that reverberated through the crowd. Alongside being an incredible singer and musician, Nathaniel is also a smooth dancer and he entertained the audience with his silky footwork, sliding across the stage as he sung.

He demonstrated this with Hey Mama, a fun and easy song which he began with a guitar solo. We were getting towards the end of the show and The Night Sweats mixed it with a number from Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark.

With microphone in hand, Nathaniel reached into the crowd and high-fived those at the front. The song was met with another whopping cheer and some thought the show was over when The Night Sweats walked off.

But the majority of the audience kept clapping and the band came back on for Son of a B****. It was hard to say which song had been the best of the night, but this one became the most fun and the audience was roaring the lyrics back.

Nathaniel even got to his knees and held the mic towards the crowd, encouraging them to sing the lyrics. The Night Sweats finished off the show with Love Don't and Nathaniel gave the audience a big thanks for watching them play.

It felt like we'd been taken through a wave of emotions and the room was filled with upbeat and high energy as it ended. Like their name, the audience definitely sweated into the night as they clapped and danced along - it will be a show they won't forget anytime soon.