Pages Navigation Menu

A little help from my friends: Saint Paul and the Broken Bones

Saint Paul and The Broken Bones delivered a breathtaking and soulful performance at Knoxville’s The Mill and Mine. Photo by Clair Scott.

Saint Paul and The Broken Bones delivered a breathtaking and soulful performance at Knoxville’s The Mill and Mine. Photo by Clair Scott.

Blue velvet curtains covered the front of the stage and the silver slide of a trombone snaked its way through the curtain. The audience was crawling with anticipation. The curtain opened and the band entered the stage followed by the Saint Paul. He was cloaked in an iridescent robe with a studded lapel; the site was almost spiritual. When he began to sing a silence fell across the room. You could feel the power and soul in his voice from the floor to the tips of your fingers.

He opened with his original, “Back to The Future,” which set the stage for the rest of the show featuring his second studio album, “Sea of Noise.” He owned the audience. His audacious nature held my attention with the way he commanded of the stage. The audience, which to my surprise, appeared to be an older crowd, was set in motion with his rhythmic combination of soul and classic rock in roll. His Motown sound combined with his brass section never left a lull.

Paul Laneway, the leading front man, I can best compare to the great James Brown with his movements and sheer passion which he pours into his performance.

Before taking to the stage Paul studied to become a Pentecostal preacher, obvious from his pastoral energy. His performance felt like a religious experience, I felt as though he really could raise the souls along with bringing down the house.

There were moments when it was almost impossible to keep up, at one point he threw one of his gold spray painted loafers into the audience sending it souring past the first couple of rows.

He then proceeded to climb under the drum stand where only the mic cord could be seen coiled up underneath the curtain and his voice proceeded to fill the room even without his physical presence.

At the end he came out and performed an additional four songs from his previous album, “Half the City,” and went well over his original lineup time. He finished the show by rolling himself into the gold rug on the front of the stage until he was no longer visible and only his feet stuck out from the opposite end.  It felt like it was his last performance and he knew it.  He gave every last ounce he had and delivered it with the soul of a lost saint.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *