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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Dan Sartain/Two Tears/Charles Randolph Slim – Captains Rest – 1/5/11 (Glasgow)

Charles Randolph Slim is back.
He's either a firm fan of vintage clothes stores or he has access to a worm hole and he's visiting us from the 50's.
Out of place and time he sits there with Gretch in hand and and takes us all for a bop and stroll past the Sun studio and into the juke joints of our imagination.
Not bad for a one man band.
For those who have never experienced his revue show then what you get is a cheeky set of rockabilly, some blues and a whole lot of rhythm.
If you listen to it closely you will hear little snippets of classic rock and roll lyrics being woven into the original ones that he's penned to.
It's a pretty cool touch.
If you wanted to you could treat a show like a game of aural 'where's rock and roll Wally' and try to pick them out.
Although I'm sure most would be too busy tapping their toes to the beat to bother with a distraction like that. Better just to immerse yourself in the sounds.
The last time I seen Charles Randolph Slim was at a Lux Interior night in Bar Bloc.
It was there that he performed an impressive rendition of Green Door that imprinted itself on my memory. It wormed its way in deep enough that I even made a mental note to try and catch him doing a full set in the future.
Now that I have I've got to say he's the hepcats hepcat. A cool breeze from the past freshening up the present and an artist that really does deserve your patronage.
There's a single coming out soon on Eruption records. So if you can't make a show then that might be a good way to get acquainted.

Two Tears - who are doing the whole Dan Sartain tour - are a different proposition entirely.
They keep it simple and raw as a three piece who have a no frills attitude to the garage punk that they play.
For the first few seconds I thought they were opening up with a Cramps cover, but that soon took a positive detour into a wider garage sound.
They seem to dip into every corner of the scene managing to pick up influences from here, there, and everywhere to make something that while it doesn't sound new or different can still get the blood pumping..
It's fast and frantic and very very enjoyable.
They never settle down into one groove long enough for anyone to get bored, and equally the set isn't catering to those with a short attention span either.
All the tracks may be short and sharp as you would expect, but they're powerful enough to remain memorable.
After their set someone mentioned to me that they gave them a miss as they aren't keen on female singers in garage bands.
The guy is entitled to his opinion, but by tarring all female fronted garage bands with the one brush he missed out big time on an electrifying set.
Hopefully Two Tears will be back in the UK, and in particular Glasgow, as I reckon the converted a few people to their cause.
I'm certainly one of them.

There's something going on with Dan Sartain.
A change in direction that isn't smooth, but seems to have resulted from grinding heavily from one gear to another.
The first half of the set he plays is rooted in his last couple of albums with 'Atheist Funeral' and a couple of other more recent tracks thrown in for good measure.
Anyone who is up to date with his oeuvre would be grooving along quite happily with what was on offer, but it wasn't going to be up for grabs for too long as Dan had other plans.
Mid set he is joined by the rhythm section of Two Tears and from then on in it a big fuck you, 1,2,3,4 blast of Ramonse-esque punk.
Every track could have been lifted straight from 'Ramones' or 'Leave Home'.
Not that I'm complaining. Dan and the guys were truly ripping it up.
This was the gear change that some people would either welcome or think 'what the fuck' about.
It's Dan's Mr Hyde to his Dr Jekyll. Two sides of the same coin, but with very different faces.
The acoustic strumming Dan has turned into a dirty punk who kicks the mic stand into the crowd with a complete disregard for the safety of the audience.
He doesn't just do it once either. This gung ho, fuck you Dan would repeat his lashing out at the mic stand between songs, during songs and basically at any given opportunity.
At one point when his mic wasn't returned to him he took the time to slip across the stage and slash at the bassists.
I'm sure there was a few bemused people in the audience who were thinking that this wasn't what they signed up for.
They should loosen up though as this is what live music should be about.
The step into the unknown.
If people want a sanitized offering then they can sit at home with their CDs in my opinion, or go and see some lyp synching diva at £60 if that's their thing.
Personally I want to see the fuck ups, the changes in tempo and attitude, the dynamics of a band in action and that moment when everything clicks into place and a band or artist can transcend just playing a song and instead elicit a charge or connection from a room.
Dan Sartain managed that in the Captains Rest.
He might not have taken everyone on a journey that they expected, but no one is going to forget the trip in a hurry.

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