Chris Shiflett At Scala: Stetsons, Sprinters, Capos & Greggs

Ahead of the upcoming release of his newest solo album, Lost At Sea due out later this year, Chris Shiflett dons the stage for the sixth and final night of his Irish and UK tour, at a sold-out Scala.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett
Chris Shiflett

The crowd immediately erupts in loud cheers. It’s been a long four years since the last a solo tour of the UK, and after a short introduction the band launch straight into Outlaw.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett
Chris Shiflett

Whilst the crowd quickly settle in for a good ol’ night of country rock n’ roll, they soon find out that they are also in for a banter filled night. Chris and co are extremely comfortable playing this small venue, and you can clearly see how he is relishing the intimacy of this tour, he informs the crowd that he been enjoying touring in a very packed, manly smelling, Sprinter Van, this we know is not the usual touring luxury he will be accustomed to when out on tour with Foo Fighters.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

L-R: Chris Shiflett, Robert Jolly & Fox Fagan
L-R: Chris Shiflett, Robert Jolly & Fox Fagan

Stripping back the personnel, and replacing them with pre-recorded instruments, on this tour may’ve been a necessity but it doesn’t take from the night’s performance with Fox Fagan on bass and Robert Jolly on drums.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Fox Fagan
Fox Fagan

There are all sorts of revelations tonight, not least that after all their years touring the UK he and the band have only just discovered Greggs sausage rolls, he later regales the story of how he embarrassed his son by turning his first breakup story into a song which is now sung on every tour, he goes on to tell the crowd how his wife has been trolling his tour wardrobe, and has even warned him never to go “full cowboy”, advice he casually disregards, much to the crowds’ delight, as he adorns a Stetson and breaks into Room 102.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett
Chris Shiflett

Getting the capo out ready for Long, Long Year and joking how it is “magic sauce on guitar” he teases the North London crowd with the opening chords for Oasis’ classic Wonderwall. Despite being a new song to the catalogue the crowd tonight know the lyrics and are joining in.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett @ Scala (Kalpesh Patel)
Chris Shiflett @ Scala (Kalpesh Patel)

It’s not all jokes and fun tonight though, Shiflett takes a somber tone as he begins to introduce the song he starts by regaling how it’s been a hard year before he corrects himself to say it’s been a rough few years, his poignant moment with the crowd though is interrupted by a woman in the front passing him a polaroid of himself and with that he says f*ck it and starts into the song.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett @ Scala (Kalpesh Patel)
Chris Shiflett @ Scala (Kalpesh Patel)

Support act, Dea Matrona appear on stage, with birthday cake in hand for Jolly’s birthday the crowd duly do as instructed by singing Happy Birthday. Part of the fun and novelty of this tour is that Shifty has invited the audience to contribute to an upcoming music video by submitting their live recordings, and with the hundreds of phone are raised high so if you attended one of the six gigs then there’s a chance you might be seen in a clip or your recording may even be used.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett
Chris Shiflett

The encore includes one of Chris’ favourite Rolling Stones songs – Dead Flowers, Dea Matrona return to stage but this time to join in on vocals, followed by a fast paced cover of Merle Haggard’s Working Man Blues.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett with Orlaith Forstyhe & Mollie McGinn of Dea Matrona
Chris Shiflett with Orlaith Forstyhe & Mollie McGinn of Dea Matrona

If the crowd didn’t feel involved enough already tonight they certainly would by the end of the next cover, Hank William’s Family Tradition, where they vibrantly chant along to the chorus.

Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Chris Shiflett
Chris Shiflett

Of course it wouldn’t be right if the final song of the night was anything other than West Coast Town, the fans tonight go home more than content with promises of returning soon.

  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala
  • Chris Shiflett @ Scala

Review of Chris Shiflett at Scala on 28th March 2023 by Bernadette O’Malley. Photography by Kalpesh Patel.

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