Tag Archives: Jim Maving

CASE HARDIN — Live in Staines

You didn’t see it. You weren’t there. You can only imagine — You shoulda been there, man…

For those people who still support live music in Staines, last night’s show at the RIVERSIDE CLUB was a treat.

The terrific CASE HARDIN were in town — they are signed to Clubhouse Records, named after a character in Boston Teran’s thriller “God Is A Bullet” and onto their fourth album “Colours Simple.”

This was the standout gig of the year.

We had already seen this band [whose main songwriter Pete Gow has been described by Q magazine as “a songwriter like no other”] at the “Down By The Riverside” blue-grass night. Then we were totally immersed in the Vermilion River muddiness, and the sweetly drooled guitar. We thought their songs “convinced and anointed us...”

We have been looking forwards to the return of these Americana & country rock paragons.

Case Hardin - lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotion upset... Photo Credit: @neilmach 2016 ©
Case Hardin – lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotion upset… Photo Credit: @neilmach 2016 ©

After a rousing start, the band brought us into a private world of feverish imagination — “Fiction Writer” — one of a selection of numbers from the new songbook.

This brushed across the room, soft yet edgy. The lyrics were filled with potential heartache. Every note shook us with emotional upset.

We also enjoyed “First to Know”  — the ever-building song from the “Every Dirty Mirror” album that includes the scrabble word “stanchions.”     The choppy texture of guitar on this number reminded us of Denny Laine.

After discussing the merits of Scottish gin [Isle of Harris is apparently taken with a slice of pineapple on the Outer Hebrides ] we savoured the hoppy upbeat number “The Streets are Where the Cars Are (The Bars are Where the Girls Will Be.)

This has super-efficient keyboard work from Roland and schmaltzy lines of guitar from the talented Jim Maving. This band’s sounds are distinctively dry with a peppery aftertaste and gooseberry hints. Maybe HARDIN CASE are the musical equivalent of a sip of gin on the bitter Western Isles

“Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.”
“Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.”
After the break the band returned to treat us to a selection of acoustic covers. They ventured “into the crowd” — up-close and personal. It was a moving experience. The first song they played was “Carmelita”.

Warren Zevon is a great inspiration and influence for us.” Said vocalist and frontman Pete Gow. “And if you don’t know who he is — then maybe the last hour has been a complete mystery to you…

This number was brilliantly performed and properly ardent.In fact, it was the most exciting song of the night. Tim Emery played upright bass [“Cor that’s a big one...” shouted one wisecracker) while Roland Kemp, the band keyboardist played timbrel and provided sweet backing vocals.

If you can imagine something like the poetry of Bob Dylan peformed with the heart of Tom Petty and, perhaps, the merest hint of super-dry Johnny Cash with the fruitful finish of Leonard Cohen, then you might get somewhere near to the angled beauty and detailed instrumentation of CASE HARDIN.

But, in reality, these guys are like nothing else …

It’s a shame — you were not there!

Words & Images: Neil Mach 2016 ©




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Wonderful Americana — CASE HARDIN Live in Staines — Down By The Riverside

Case Hardin take their name from a character in the award-winning thriller by Boston Teran — ‘God Is A Bullet’.

This week we saw this amazing band (whose third album “Colours Simple” is soon to be released on Clubhouse records) at the excellent Riverside Club Staines on their regular “Down By The Riverside” blue-grass night.

The set proceeded quickly and smoothly.  Never letting the Staines crowd catch-a-breath between all the sorrowed lamentations and lazy waltzes.

Gow - angry white teeth shining through a black-dusty Che Guevara beard...
Gow – angry white teeth shining through a black-dusty Che Guevara beard…

There was something ‘Pete Duel’ about the frontman, songwriter and singer Pete Gow.

He looked like a dishevelled gunman. With a lop-sided Liam Gallagher style aspect and
angry white teeth that shone through a black-dusty Che Guevara beard.

Jim Maving,  on lead guitar, looked like a cowboy version of Burt Bacharach (with silver hair and angular face.) And Tim Emery on bass was like an eel. He stretched elegantly —  as every long note was carefully matured. Andy Bastow was the rhythm machine behind the others.

We were charmed by songs that were dark, sensual and intriguing. Like the mild-mannered “Three Beautiful Daughters” (the girls who were named “After hurricanes…”) with cantering beats and a sultry voice that was as fresh as marsh water in June. The lyrics convinced and fascinated us. And when we got to the swaying chorus, it was all we could do to stop ourselves being totally immersed in the Vermilion River-style muddiness, which became particularly sweet when the guitar drooled out.

Case_Hardin_ju_@neilmach 2015 ©
Case Hardin – Anguish, wading rhythms and haunted voice…

A crowd favourite was “Three For The Road” which was taken from the band’s
acclaimed album “Some Tunes For Charlie Spencer.”

Here the voice was friendly and relaxed. Guitars were pleasantly smooth and the rhythm was pretty leisurely.

This song moved a slovenly path like a muddy river… Before winding its way into a dark lake of mystery.

Like many of the Case Hardin numbers, there’s was an inevitable sadness in this song. And its only release (before any fall) was through the beautiful lyrics and the clever finger-picking.

As an encore, the band played a cover of the Felice BrothersWhiskey In My Whiskey”.  Here we had tot of anguish, a wading rhythm, a haunted voice, some finely picked guitars and — as always —a dark bone to chew upon & meditate over.

Some songs left us with a terrible pain in the chest. Others appeared to be sent from a higher power —as if the words had been specially chosen (for us) — perhaps to convince, remind or anoint us.  All the songs seemed to contain jots of sadness. But the overall atmosphere was cheerful, although not exactly breezy.

This was a night of witty and wading country rock, with beautifully developed guitars, slowly fermenting voices and richly addictive rhythms.

Words & Images: @neilmach 2015 ©
Link: https://www.facebook.com/casehardinband/