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Margo Price + Kelsey Waldon - Gorilla, Manchester 27/1/24

“This is a song that Jeremy and I wrote during a psychedelic mushroom experience - it’s a song about orgasms and I think in a world where, at least in the US, women’s bodies are being policed everyday, i think the world needs this…” (or something of that incredible nature) 

Margo Price is a real rocknrolla. Shes a fucking fireball. I think every woman in the world needs to be a bit more Margo. Don’t settle for being the girlfriend, don’t settle for ‘what I would wear if I was…” just go out and be it. Buy a guitar. Write something. Paint something. Take up the most possible space and do it all. Margo Price is a woman who does it all. 

As someone who, mostly, doesn’t drink alcohol either - hearing both her and her opener, Kelsey Walden from Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, say they’re (in their own words) “Not drunk but not sober” - I am of firm belief that this new generation of country, rock and bluegrass mavericks are something that everyone in the universe should be payin attention to. 

Raw and unbacked by a band, Kelsey’s opening set confirmed that our last minute decision to come down tonight was as correct as I felt in my soul. Honestly, any chance to see country or bluegrass close to home will NEVER be missed again. She has a glittering Gram Parsons-esque suit on and belts out a perfectly formed opening set including a duet with Margo and a Stanley Brothers cover which didn’t go unappreciated. Kentucky 1988. A fucking unreal tune.

Margo didn’t leave us waiting for long and exploded onto the stage backed by her 5 piece band to truly fuck with my senses for almost 2 hours. She is totally awe-inspiring to watch as she jumps between vocals, guitar, tambourine and even 2 drum solos. This woman is miraculously talented. Her setlist was paced beautifully and took us on a full rollercoaster of genres that very few artists I’ve ever seen live have managed. Change of Heart felt like she was possessed by the spirit of Stevie Nicks. She had us in the palm of her hand. I was ready to ride. Light Me Up was a personal favourite, which according to Margo was her calling to write about female orgasms. A genre usually dominated by our male counterparts and the  male gaze. Holy fuck she nails it. Her own unique brand of psychedelic country rock is complemented perfectly by just how fucking incredible she is live. A dozen red roses for the crowd and a whirlwind of emotions, it felt how I imagine seeing The Doors at The Whiskey would have felt in the early days. 

I had the pleasure to meet and photograph Kelsey on the way out and chat to her for a bit about the tour and their plans for the time they have in the UK - thank you for having such a beautiful soul Kelsey, I’m going to tell everyone I meet about you. 

Country, rock n roll, bluegrass - whatever combination you like to consume these genres, at the moment is full of some real rare gold. Real records. People who are truly truly accomplished at what they do. If you have the chance this year, go out and see some of them. Can’t wait to go over the pond and check out some of these cats on home turf. 

Love you all

Lauren Pleasure


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