Sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers are no longer a secret judging by the sell-out audience in the Sugar Club on a Tuesday night. The siblings went straight into their first song of a 17 song set and it was obvious that they have a growing confidence and a more astute awareness of an audience. Tonight the fifties-style dresses were replaced by jeans with black tops but the between song banter was very much a part of the act, as are the asides about having to share so much time together and the minor conflict that ensues from that. Laura how happy they were to be back in Dublin.
Laura said that because of the song Tennessee Me many people believed that they were from there rather than from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Their home state was the subject of one of a number of self-written songs due to be included on their next album that they previewed in the show. The songs included King Cotton, the aforementioned Alabama tribute, Bad Habit, River Jordan, Little Again and a song written and sung by Laura that was a direct reaction to weather disasters in their home state. That song Tomorrow Will Be Kinder was one of the evening’s highlights. They of course included a lot of covers, songs that they loved and heard growing up and singing on their front porch. Songs their father loved like Why Baby Why (a song they stopped in the middle due to a distorted guitar and then faultlessly resumed once it was fixed), Am I That Easy To Forget, Your Cheatin’ Heart as well as a song that Laura had convinced Lydia to sing onstage, it was one of a number of songs that they often sang offstage. You Send Me worked well and got a great reaction - however she said that another song they occasionally did for themselves Careless Whisper would remain that way. They also did Do You Love An Apple? and revealed that when they started singing it neither they nor their father knew what “bugger all” meant. They do now. A highlight for this listener was the Everly Brothers (who they said they have often been compared to) Devoted To You.
As expected the harmonies throughout were sublime and the simple guitar accompaniment, shared by both sisters was effective. I do feel that in the future, after the release of the new album, a couple of additional players, double bass and lap steel perhaps?, would add that extra dimension. But it was a great night that showed that music in its most basic form of voice and guitar (and little light-hearted dialogue) can captivate an audience. The sisters have grown and learned from the large amount of touring they have done and their new album should take them to another level.
Review by Stephen Rapid. Photography by Ronnie Norton