Search This Blog

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Tav Falco's Panther Burns - Broadcast - Glasgow (09/02/14)

Very often, too often for it to be merely coincidentally, and probably the result of an ancient curse that has been levelled at my family, I have found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the game eeny, meeny, miny, your fucked I have bucked the laws of statistical probability and been the ‘you’re fucked’ more often than most could realistically believe.
I even have a recurring dream that ties in with being born under a bad star wherein a fiery ball drops from the sky into a large crowd and lands on me.
Everyone else is injury free, but I’m in tiny bits.
The last thought that flits across my mind just before I die is “bloody typical”.

That’s not to say every day is filled with the toast landing butter side down though.
Sometimes everything works out fine, and that’s what happened with the Tav Falco show in Glasgow.

On Sunday morning I was all geared up to see the man himself hit the stage of Broadcast on the Monday evening, when in a casual conversation it was mentioned that I had the wrong date, meaning that I missed out on being in the right place at the wrong time by a happenstance stroke of luck.
Keeping with the theme of superstition, curses and cosmic jokes by Gods, this was my moment of the stars aligning that bucked the normal trend.
I was on a roll when a matter of minutes later a friend posted online that they had a spare ticket to.
All my luck was being used up in the one day it seemed.

So in a matter of mere hours I had went from ignorance to awareness, and then to a seat in a booth in Broadcast and enjoying a candle lit meal with my girlfriend Kelly.

Not bad for a Sunday with three bands still to play.

First support band of the night was The Reverse Cowgirls.
Describing themselves as a psych tinged garage rock act they haven’t missed the head of the nail as they powered through a bunch of songs that sound like the material from the Pebbles collections after they have been forced to do the “Tough Mudder” assault course run.
Sounding battered and bruised, but screaming that they are alive, song after song reinforces that the garage sound of the west coasts underground garage scene is still as relevant as it has ever been to those who gravitate towards a less slick, but ultimately more vibrant take on rock and roll.
Even some technical gremlins making an appearance couldn’t diminish the on-going onslaught.
Huge thumbs up from me.

The Primevals have been doing their thing since the early eighties, and shared stages large and small with pretty much everyone.
After that amount of time there are only two real reasons why that longevity is possible.  
One is that they are obstinately unaware that they aren’t that good, and like the families of tone deaf reality talent show contestants their nearest and dearest haven’t found a way to break the news to them, or that they are simply damn good at what they do and know it.
Thankfully the latter is what is going on with these guys, and with all those years under their belts you are guaranteed a quality show.
The garage tag is one that has been applied often enough, and not without reason, but The Primevals are much more than just a garage act, and are able to bring the best of RnB to the table as they expel enough kinetic energy to light up a small town while doing so.
Double thumbs up.

Tav Falco and his Panther Burns are a whole different story again.
If Rod Serling took on the mantle of Dr Frankenstein and made himself a rock star to exist in the word of the Twilight Zone then his creation would be Tav Falco.
The man, the legend, lives in the worlds between fact and fiction, fantasy and reality.
It’s a world of shadows where ladies of the night, burlesque show barkers, petty thieves, shining pompadours, tightly woven zoot suits and the glint of a switchblade exist under neon lights.
An alternate universe where the romanticized lives of the denizens of the gutter are celebrated with more panache than most would be able to consider possible.
As he strode onto the stage a friend remarked on how young he looked.
It’s true.
He could be the Dorian Gray of rock and roll.
Although a continental lifestyle could be the secret rather than any supernatural portrait hanging in an attic, his healthy persona is worth mentioning as an aside.
Worth mentioning as it isn’t something that is reflected by the males of the Scottish audience who were in attendance.
In the main we appear to have the complexions of men who consider dooking* for mars bars as they are being deep fried as a normal weekend pastime.
Maybe we should take a leaf out of his book, or then again we could cling to the belief that dying young with a decrepit looking corpse is the way to go.
What about the music though?
In one word it was ‘stunning’.
A mish-mash of The Cramps, Johnny Thunders, Dean Martin and Rudolph Valentino mixed together and delivered in a manner that takes the individual parts and creates something that is stronger as a whole.
It’s his ability to take these multiple strands and weave them together to conjure up a show that is like no other that attracts people to the Tav Falco’s Panther Burns fold again and again.
On this night we had a Turkish belly dancing intro from the bands attractive drummer, a whole slew of rock and roll and Spanish stroll, and an interlude where Tav and a dancing partner used the stage to display their skills as they danced the tango in a set that time wise would have given Springsteen a run for his money if it hadn’t been cut short by the licensing curfew.   
This was not just a rock show in a club, but an artistic representation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” where the reality gives way for the surreal, albeit draped in a robe of fifties, early sixties, rebellious teenage culture.
There’s still one Scottish date to go and that is in Edinburgh tomorrow night (Wed 12/02/14), and it has to be said that if the above sounds like your thing then please don’t miss it.

*Dooking – Attempting to retrieve an apple from a tub with your teeth as part of a traditional Halloween game in Scotland. 

Similar Shows - 
15/02/14 - Lux Lives - McChuills (Glasgow)
01/03/14 - The Primevas - McChuills (Glasgow)
27/03/14 - The Bonnevilles/The Brutes/Geek Maggot Bingo - 13th Note (Glasgow)


  1. Great gig, probably better if you were down the front. That's a low ceiling and a foot high stage. Hat off to the sound engineer.

  2. We were stage left in the front row. Just in front of the bassist who kindly gave us a beer.