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Friday, 27 April 2012

Legendary Shack Shakers/The Jackhammers - King Tuts - 26/04/12 (Glasgow)

The Jackhammers
There's a bit of The Ramones, a bit of The Dead Boys and a whole lotta Jackhammers shaking their shambolic stuff on King Tuts stage tonight.
Pile driving (sic) into a set that leaves an audience equally perplexed, bemused and entertained the three piece garage rockers are a sublime example of how a band can exude an attitude of not giving a fuck while actually doing the business.
Sneering through a muscular set of aggressive garage punk songs that rarely, if at all, hit the two minute mark the guys expend the same amount of energy in a fleeting moment than a marathon runner does in an afternoon of slogging it out on the pavements of the major cities around the world.
The effort that they put into the performance is something that is appreciated by those who see that the ramshackle aspect is part of the act.
Are they the hardest working slackers on the punk rock circuit?
Quite possibly.
The icing on the cake was that they had some merch with the image of a sex dwarf on it.
Dang... this band just answered my dreams.
I've been looking for a sex dwarf t-shirt for years.
After the mach-speed fury that was The Jackhammers we got to the come down that was Dirty Old Red.
Accomplished musicians they may well be, but it was glaringly obvious that they were on the wrong bill.
Sandwiched between The Jackhammers and The Legendary Shack Shakers should be a band that have a hint of danger about them.
They should have their toes on the line of acceptable behaviour and threaten to step over it at every opportunity.
That's not Dirty Old Red.
It was like having JLS coming on stage after Anthrax and before Motorhead.
None of that is to say that they aren't a good band, just that their inclusion on the bill sort of boggles the mind.
The memory of them playing took a heavy hit when the Shack Shakers came on and shook the walls.
The stereotypical claim that a band owned the stage became a reality.
Last time I seen them I was quietly impressed but I wasn't blown away as others had claimed I would be.
This was a whole different ball game though.
Now I have been blown away.
JD Wilkes is a gurning maniac, a redemptive lunatic southern baptist preacher inviting us to join him in the St Vitus dance.
JD Wilkes
The sounds of punk, the blues and rockabilly are layered together and hammered into a shape that evokes the spirit of the revivalist tents.
Only in this tent the moonshine is flowing freely, Jerry Lee Lewis is the master of ceremonies and he's looking to start a fight.
God is in one corner, the Devil in the other, and the outcome is uncertain.
The band are tightly coiled and assuming the role of storm wranglers.
The guitarist, bassist and drummer are holding JD Wilkes between them and all his energies are being forced outwards into the crowd.
Thankfully the crowd are gleefully weathering the storm and letting the experience batter at them with smiles on their faces.
There's not many bands that can maintain a level of consistent energy throughout a show that would have the needle always in the red, but the Legendary Shack Shakers can.
This is a blood, sweat and tears performance, and while it is just that, a performance, you can't see where the line is drawn between it being an act and the real deal.
As a front-man Wilkes could very well be channelling something more through his wiry frame.
Is he he speaking in tongues? In the grip of angels or demons?
I doubt it, but he plays the man possessed to the hilt and I'd happily watch him wrestling with himself to convey that feeling every night if I could.


  1. Good review of a great band. Really like your style.

  2. Thank you Dan.
    Lost of people have been very positive about my writing and I don't really understand why, but I'm getting to grips with accepting the nice words.
    It was a fantastic gig, Both the Jackhammers and Shackshakers were on fire.

  3. Easily the best gig I've been to this year, and one of my top gigs ever. Had a fucking blast. Props go to Mainy for turning me on to the Shack Shakers in the first place though.

  4. I'm sure you would have found them on your own Kyle.
    Has Suzi managed to get over me hugging her repeatedly?