Jon Spencer Blues Explosion & Ming City Rockers @ Sound Control

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion & Ming City Rockers @ Sound Control

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, SoundControl, Manchester, 22/10/15  

I have to admit, this was something special. To be honest, I hadn't heard of either band before the night of the gig but you know what?, I enjoyed myself immensely. I walked up to the stage in Sound Control and I was actually surprised to see that there was no crowd barrier. It was going to be an up close and personal night, just how I like my rock ‘n’ roll. When I looked at the merchandise table, I was really stunned by the sheer breadth of work that Jon Spencer had come up with over the years. I became rather intrigued about what he was going to play.

Ming City Rockers

This was absolutely amazing. Honestly, I was impressed with this band. Everything about their set just popped. From their roaring rock sound, to their punk styled show. Right through to their intense fun-filled energy. To me, this band was an odd choice for a support act and yet, they worked. Their sheer presence was absolutely fantastic and every songs they played just worked. With great song titles like Chic and The Motherfuckers, I Wanna Get Outta Here But I Can't Take You Anywhere and Rosetta they captured my interest. They just had that Minneapolis style of rock. In the same vein as The Replacements, Husker Du or Soul Asylum, but also had a flair of a garage rock sound. I was particularly impressed with the sheer musicianship of the band. Keeping this tight sound but also playing up their stage theatrics. I can officially say, after this performance and after listening to their discography. That I am firmly a fan of this band. I look forward to hearing them again.  Seriously, if you’re a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, check these guys out.

Our photographer Anthony Firmin also had a few thoughts about the Ming City Rockers:
"Sometimes I think that I am too old for this shit and then I see a band like like the Ming City Rockers and it makes me realise that this is what rock'n'roll is all about. They are young, thrilling, exciting and couldn't give a damn. They just went for it and took it in their own aggressive, in your face way with real angst.  And from a photographers point of view they were a dream - loads of visual attitude and angst. Mesmerising."

 

 

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Well… We were promised a blues explosion and that’s exactly what we got. The blues trio hit the stage and burst into life with their unique style of blues influenced, garage rock. They instantly hooked me with great riffs, well executed solo’s and their infectious stage presence.  Spencer himself was very animated and kept the crowd’s atmosphere alive, whilst Judah Bauer and Russell Simins held a tight funky pace for Spencer to work around.  The venue was completely packed and the lack of the crowd barrier added a  intimate feel to the whole show.  Like I said at the start, they had a fair amount of material to work with. The set just naturally flowed from one song to the next. With the only thing separating the songs was Spencer shouting “Blues Explosion” between songs. The wackiness of the night continued one when Spencer put down his guitar and went to the theremin to create some interesting and weird noises. To be honest all you could do as an audience member is groove to the funky beats that were being pumped out.

The set was incredible and as the night drew on Spencer became more alive than ever as he grabbed me, well I was standing at the front. He took my glasses and wore them himself, then grabbing my shirt he started to sing right at me.  Then he dumped my glasses back on my face.  Well I couldn’t see the rest of the show but I was definitely a part of it.  I was up close and personal and ended up getting baptised in rock ‘n’ roll.  After that, I don’t think I have to go into anymore detail about this performance 10 outta 10. Great night of rock.

Words: Mick Birchall | Photos: Anthony Firmin 

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