This popular venue has attracted some amazing musical talent on their regular Thursday music nights, and this bluesey rocky band were no exception. Full of gusto, energy and promise from the outset, the band stormed through a lively first set with sparkling examples of some classic hits from the likes of Tom Petty, Primal Scream, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival and a dash of Johnny Cash. Also scattered in there were some more unlikely namechecks like, for example, Kentucky Headhunters.
Our guide for this journey around Americana and all things Southern, from Navajo Territory to swamp country, was the amiable gravel-throated ‘Kid Rock’ lookalike Keith Beasley (lead vocals and guitar) wearing his ‘Baptized in Muddy Waters’ T shirt and sporting a tortoise-brown rather dapper hat. But the band also boasted the rawest, smokiest blues-harp player this side of the cotton belt, and one mean rattlesnake on drums, plus a fierce lead guitar player and a bruising, bouncing bass. This is a quality act.
The second set brought the delighted Staines crowd some solid golden nuggets of sound, covering numbers by the likes of The Traveling Wilburys, Kid Rock and even finishing with some antic-filled punk – The Undertones “Teenage Kicks”.
And all the way through the show, you could almost smell the shrimp on the barbecue and taste the smoky bourbon on the air. At one point both Adrian and Kenny played joyful King Biscuit blues harmonica together- this was a terrific moment- ( “Stone Fox Chase”). A rootin’ tootin’ howlin’ success.
My personal favourite was the band’s self penned ‘You Can Steal’ song which had a gruff attitude (comparisons with Dylan were formed) and rusty, dusty percussion. Tobacco stained, rubenesque (fat and delicious) guitars meander and burst out of their corsets. Huge surly riffs mingle and mix, with a great chorus which has raise-your-knees-and-jig danceability written all over it. A true Southern delight.
If you get a chance to see this act live, grab it. Don’t forget your ‘gator skin shoes and your flask of moonshine though…. ‘cos you’ll make a night of it!
© Neil_Mach January 2012