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Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Shiverin' Sheiks - Love Music - 08/02/14 (Glasgow)

On the economically bomb blasted landscape of the high-street there are increasingly less and less last shops standing.
No one needs a heads up from the financial sector to be aware that independents have in the main waved the white flag and soaped their windows up.
Nor do we need to listen to the voices of doom from the stockbrokers to understand that the major players are struggling to.

However, it is in ‘Love Music’ - situated in the city centre of Glasgow - that we have a record store that Canute like sits on the beach spinning records and holding the waves back with help from their loyal customers.

Its door from the street could as well be the back of the wardrobe that opens to reveal a musical Narnia.
A magical world populated by creatures made of sound.
A cornucopia of aural delights lies within, and whenever I make a daylight trip to the city I am always assured of a warm welcome.
This time the trip is not made with the intent to secure yet another album/single or DVD for my collection though, but instead it’s to enjoy an afternoon of live music from Glasgow neo-rock and rollers “The Shiverin’ Sheiks” who are looking to draw attention to the release of their debut album “A Curious case of…”.

Squeezing into the corner of the store the four piece, resplendent in matching suits, set up their drums and vintage amps, and then with an introduction from frontman Dave Dixon that is part carnival barker, part 50’s radio DJ hosting a bop, the band are off and running.
While most may immediately jump to the era that the band are paying homage to it’s the Beatles circa 1960 to 1962 - when they played the Bierkellers of Hamburg - that springs to my mind.
The period when the nascent mop toppers were more interested in playing sets of amphetamine fuelled covers of their rock and roll idols instead of working on being the band that shook the world.
Another hint to that being a second hand influence is in the double hint of the band name and their inclusion of the old jazz standard “The Sheik of Araby”. A track that featured on the Decca demos that failed to secure the fab four a deal.

Regardless of where the bands roots are located though it’s a fine set of songs that they display.
Slow Down, The Larry Williams classic - that was also covered by the Beatles on their Long Tall Sally ep - is as vibrantly frenetic as modern audiences would expect, a tip of the fedora to Bing Crosby comes from the leftfield and impresses, and the Big O gets the Shiverin’ Sheiks work out that no one would complain about, while Cadillac, made famous by Bo Diddley, is for me the jewel in a glittering crown as the band deliver the evergreen backing-vocals that the song requires to shine.

It would be easy to claim the band have all eight feet firmly planted in the past, but I’d take issue with that as the music that they are playing is timeless after all.
The double bass being slapped, the trembling guitar as a backdrop to sharper picking, and a drum beat that has been luring teenagers onto the rocks of rebellion since the fifties, is something that needn't be carbon dates as right here in 2014 it holds exactly the same amount of power as it always has, and it would be fair to say that with The Shiverin Sheiks it’s in safe hands.

From beginning to end the band deliver on all fronts.

Forgive another Beatles reference, but in regards to this beat combo, where are we going lads?

To the toppermost of the poppermost is the correct answer of course. 

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