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Updated: Nov 17, 2022

We’re big fans of Peterborough rock band Austin Gold and think they’re destined for big things. The guys have built up a strong following in the city and beyond and recently delighted local fans with a home town launch show for their fantastic new album, Those City Lights.

Ian Booty was at the Key Theatre show and reviews the night for ESP…

Homecoming gigs are always a bit special and nothing is better than an Austin Gold ‘home’ gig. Why? Because not only are they fantastic musicians who play incredibly anthemic yet original rock music but they have a connection with their fans which is unique. In no small part due to their charismatic lead singer and guitarist David James Smith (DJS).

The evening started with a very intense and interesting set from Tim Arnold who’s done a lot of work recently with DJS and throughout the set he constantly used the word ‘connection’ and was obviously feeling the warmth of the audience. He was ably assisted on keyboards by Sarah Kershaw and soon won the audience over with some tunes reminiscent of old favourites of mine , Turin Brakes. An enjoyable set and a great start to the evening.

As the stage set for Austin Gold revealed itself my thoughts were ‘wow how far has this band progressed over the last few years’. The letters AG so prominent in lights behind Chris Ogden’s drums and Adam Leon’s keyboards. It looked mightily impressive and very professional.

The main purpose of the evening was to promote the band’s new album, Those City Lights, and they ripped into Mountains and we were away! Most of the tracks were aired but old favourites from AG2 and the classic, Behind Dark Clouds, were included in a very extensive set list.

All four members are such brilliant musicians who complement each other superbly and I have banged on for years on social networking how good this band really are, but now they’ve stepped up a level and this gig just showed how far they’ve come and even more importantly where they are going… Right to the top!

However, it has to be pointed out that one of the main factors in this advancement was the superb sound on the night. I have been attending gigs for over 50 years and this was as clear and balanced as I have ever heard. Simply superb!

The whole set was a highlight in itself but I particularly enjoyed Joe Bonamassa’s (my particular favourite artist) Driving to the Daylight and Dave’s wonderful solo rendition of the title track of the album Those City Lights. The audience was very attentive and Dave was very emotional as he continued to be when delivering the classic, All The Way Down, which featured Tim Arnold and Sarah again along with local girl Shannon Wheatley one of DJS’s local vocal/guitar students who harmonised along with the audience giving a totally connected feel and a different slant on this Gold classic.

The evening finished with a very lively, See the Light and Roadside, and ended with DJS soaked in sweat and inviting every member of the audience for a hug on the merch stand afterwards.

As I say, the word ‘connected’ came to the fore throughout the evening and I made it my duty to speak to many members of the audience who use the word ‘pride’ at having such a wonderful local band to support. That is not to say their popularity is confined to Peterborough, Whittlesey and the Coates massive’ as I spent the evening with people who’d come from as far afield as Merseyside and Buckinghamshire so the new Premier Inn adjacent to the Key Theatre got some business too.

Whilst on the subject, a massive pat on the back also to the Key Theatre who have brought in a very effective and quick queuing system for drinks and all their staff were extremely helpful throughout.

Austin Gold are: David James Smith (lead guitar and vocals), Lee Churchill (bass guitar), Adam Leon (keyboards and vocals) and Chris Ogden (drums).

Also a mention must be given to the fifth member of the band Paul Douglas, affectionately known as Leguendo (don’t ask!) the chief Roadie who works tirelessly behind the scenes.

A very ‘Connected’ evening!

Ian Booty

The album Those City Lights is out now on TMR Rock Records and is available to order now via

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