Saturday, August 11, 2007

Copter / Beestung Lips / Swampmeat / Velvet Texas Cannonball The Rainbow, Digbeth Friday August 9th 2007

Wow. That's it. Maybe that should just be the entire review. Then you won't have to listen to me banging on about how great last night was. Oh well, I've already started now...too late. Firstly a big congratulations to the people behind Kamikazee Events who kicked off their Club 444 (4 bands, £4 and it all goes on until 4am) in fine style. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...with Velvet Texas Cannonball. The name gives you a pretty good hint of what you're in for. Glorious blues rock with moments of velvety softness, then a cannonball of guitars and drum fury (served by a guy with the greatest 'dreads in music)...with a Texas twist. In all seriousness this is a seriously good band. Why the hell hadn't I heard of them before? I guess that's what these night are all about. If you love The Doors, Deep Purple, Cream...that whole late '60's early 70's classic rock era, you'll love...and I mean love...Velvet Texas Cannonball.

Next up were country/rockabilly duo Swampmeat (vocalist Danny is also the drummer in The Big Bang fact fans). The mighty T Bird provides laid back but spot on brushwork on the drums while Danny sings like the bastard son of Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee on a set of tracks that already sound like Sun studio classics. Just brilliant, simple tunes played the way they should be...with heart, soul and a large glass of the hard stuff.

Talking of hard stuff...Beestung Lips. Now here's a, scratch that, make it THE band. Sitting here just a few hours after their set they have to be one of the most exciting, fucked up, mental, sick (in the right sense of the word) bands in the world. Punk is too easy a term to describe the sound. It's more like the noise a group a category A prisoners would make if they were locked in a small room just as the world was about to explode in a massive hail of nuclear missiles...on's the sound you hear in your head when you're so pissed off you want to rip out your own heart and kick it into space, it's what hell sounds like when there's a really great party going on and Satan's police come round to ask you to turn the noise down...then end up joining in and cranking it all up a notch or two. Vocalist Hetro looks like he was frozen in time (around about 1940) before being defrosted at a Black Flag gig and fed speed. Put Gallows and Beestung Lips on stage together and you'd have enough energy to power the entire fucking planet until the end of time. I loved it so much I bought the t-shirt...and the EP...and the whole fucking thing (sorry, I'm swearing a lot today...bollocks).

Right...after a much needed calming Strongbow the mighty, mighty Copter shook the stage with a furious preacher's vision of the spirit of rock n'roll ladies and gentlemen. This is a band that needs to be seen live. An instant party that takes you from the streets of Birmingham right into the dirty heart of classic American garage. As a Coldrice semi-regular (RIP the classic Bar Academy Saturday night/Sunday mornings). I've seen them oodles of times and each one is special. That's the mark of a truly great band. And the mark of a truly great night. If 444 can ever come close to repeating a bill like this (and I'm sure it can) this promises to be the kind of night that Birmingham's needed for years. The best local bands, the best local venue, the best local crowd...hell, it was the best of nights.


Russ L said...

I was at this!

Huge, huge amounts of fun. My blah to follow.

I 'think' I might have guessed who you are, too.

The Baron said...

It was great wasn't it? And yes, now you know, I am actually a 6ft 4inch transvestite with bad dress sense and a complete lack of rhythm. My secret is out...were you standing behind me and Lady B to the left...if so I might know who you are too...

Russ L said...

I was generally quite far foward and on the right side as you look at the stage for most of the gig, so I doubt it. Is the person you're thinking of an ugly shortarse longhair? If not then it's not me.

The Baron said...

Ah, not who I was thinking of...but now I know who to look out for...I'm sure our paths will cross again soon. Come and say Hi if I don't look too drunk!