King Tuts Wah Wah Hut has a legendary reputation that’s been hard won. No doubt about it. It‘s an inarguable fact, and the long list of successful acts that have cut their teeth on its stage is very impressive indeed, but it’s not a venue that I’ve found myself often in over recent years.
I look at the gigs advertised and a few jump out, but it’s really only a few.
The majority just don’t seem to appeal to be honest.
Most of the names of the bands appearing can be found in the pages of the weekly music sheets and maybe that’s the problem.
The venue seems to have went from breaking bands to jumping at the coat tails of whoever is touted as the next big thing and lost its own identity on the way.
Then again that’s only an opinion and rest assured there would be many people who would disagree.
I just always remember it as a far more eclectic venue than I feel it is now.
Regardless of my thoughts though this was the second time I’d washed up in it in less than a week.
This time it’s not Q magazines latest tips for stardom, but instead home grown heroes Tragic City Thieves playing a Saturday night headlining spot though.
First band of the night however were Edinburgh’s “The Stagger Rats”. A band who casually rattle out a modern twist on sixties styled psychedelia.
Of course comparisons with The Coral will no doubt be made due to the Hammond having its ivories tinkled, but there’s a more muscular feel to these guys. They’re less whimsical and more in your face than the lads from the Wirral. Not a bad thing in my book.
The Hammond itself isn’t used to drive the songs, but instead enriches the sound and keeps it afloat. While the duel vocals they use allow them to broaden the range of the material that they have and truth be told it’s all pretty impressive.
Definitely a band to keep an eye out for. So says their fan Butler, and who would argue with the joyously rat arsed Butler?
Next up were “The Strike Nineteens” who I have a huge problem with.
It’s not that I didn’t like them, but jaysus lads, what’s the point in writing such anthemic and slightly bombastic, indie rock classics in waiting and then playing them without an ounce of passion?
Technically everything sounded great, but apart from the singer the band was promoting a personality free zone.
It looked like they had arrived at King Tuts from a shift in B&Qs, barring, once again, the singer who carries the show.
Of course the front man is usually the focal point, but the rest of the band really need to get out into that spotlight and shine along with him.
If they did then I would guarantee that the punters would come away from a gig saying it was great instead of just good.
Instead it currently feels like the band are session musicians with loads of talent, but are lacking in the charisma that is required for playing live.
I sincerely hope they get it sorted out because musically they are a cut above most support bands that I’ve seen.The night was however always going to be owned by the Tragic City Thieves.
Each time I see them I expect the show to level out, but instead they keep pushing at the limits and bringing that little bit more to it.
Tonight it’s Stuart that’s pushing hard with his guitar work driving everything along at breakneck speed.
It’s a combination of a better sound and a pedal that’s giving it that bit more oomph and when he hits into a solo, fuck me, it sounds immense.
No one is playing like these guys at the moment. Too rock for the punk crowd and too punk for the rock crowd they are left to forge ahead into pastures new while picking up independently minded fans on the way.
Everyone else is just going to have to play catch up with them. Once the album is out and they get a few support slots in place with some established bands they are going to blow up in everyone’s face.
Then again what are people really waiting for, best to just jump aboard just now and strap yourself in for a bumpy ride.
Bloody great band I tell thee.