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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bob Wayne - Back in the Camper.

With a burst of fiddle Bob Wayne is back.
And the bad boy hillbilly outlaw who upset so many the last time that he toured the UK with his un-pc ‘fuck you and your mother to’ attitude doesn't appear to have mellowed any as he kicks off with the country punk infused Sam Tucker.
A song that takes on The Devil Goes Down to Georgia and mixes it with Caves murder ballad ‘Stagger Lee’ and comes out the other side stronger and more muscle bound.
Then with 20 miles to Juarez he effortlessly side steps being boxed in and takes it down a few notches while revealing that under the bluster, leather, and truckers cap there beats the heart of a country star in the making.
Not a rock and roller, but a bona fide country star as he delivers a traditional sounding duet a la Kris and Dolly, although in this instance it’s Elizabeth Cook acting as the foil to Bob.
From there on in the opening two tracks set the pace for Back to the Camper as in turn Bob leans heavily with one foot in the country camp and then another in something that is a bit darker and has a bit more of an edge to it.
Dope Train is a good example of this as the music and delivery is strictly country and the lyrics are far more biting, and then with Evangeline we can easily imagine that if he had dipped to the level of a baritone delivery then it could be a Cash classic.
Often when artists try and straddle two camps - as we can hear on this - it’s more common for them to end up with material that doesn't manage to satisfy anyone, but there are always exceptions to the rule and this is less a case of snatching success from the jaws of defeat and more a glorious punk rooted middle fingered salute at those who want to bag and tag Bob as one thing or another.
A prime example of this is when just as you think that you are getting to grips with the direction he’s hell for leather off in another with Granuaile, a song that is nothing more or less than Leonard Cohen doing the gypsy waltz in grand style.
It’s a bit of a schizophrenic mix over all, and there’s no real denying of that, but there’s so much character in its grooves creating a common thread that it all hangs solidly together as a body of work.
After a few days of letting it sink in, this, his third full length release reveals itself as his coming of age album.
There’s not many doing it like Bob just now and like a vintage bottle of wine it sounds like the material has reached a point that the cork should be pulled on it.

Although if you agree then you have to remember that the Bob Wayne etiquette demands that you will have to do it with your teeth and swig it from the bottle.

Bob will be playing Glasgow on the 6th of July.
Tickets here.

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