Powersolo, Bones Shake, Thee Windom Earles at The Peer Hat: Live Review
The Peer Hat is a venue that continues to improve with great beer upstairs (the venue’s bar has now closed) and they have added a vinyl record store. It is part of the über cool scene but not so cool that it should be avoided and tonight there is a really interesting line-up.
On an evening when it had been announced that Burt Reynolds had just died we are greeted by Thee Windom Earles whose name I have seen bobbing around local gig listings but knew nothing more about them, they were just getting started as I arrived. The most glaring thing about them is the nutter jumping around playing the organ and wearing what looks like a Mexican wrestler’s head mask, the rest of the band look relatively normal. The sound is pure rockabilly, but with a powerful edge as the band plough through their set with songs entitled Oom Cha Cha they will certainly be our Monkey Face! The songs are short and quite individual so retain interest, with Freight being more uptempo whereas Couch is dosed in that lovely 1950’s tremolo sound. Pizza and Flipper are fun ditties too, the later being about people who call you and then put the phone down.
“Oh my Lord, won’t you hear my prayer, I need to see Bones Shake again?”
“Son, your prayer is answered, they are on next!”
The band look a tad nervous as they open with King Dick which is deftly followed by Cracked Lips; this apprehension is understandable as they haven’t played live for a few months but they soon hit their stride with an outstanding performance of Cops with it’s immortal opening line “call the cops ‘cos I’m so fucking gorgeous”, the only song in tonights set from their excellent last EP.
Close to the bone lyrics continue with Girl about an unhappy relationship that is better than nothing. Unwell, U Should End It All and Kicks continue to deliver some seriously powerful punk-blues rock’n’roll as only they can. Set closer is Oh My Lord which see’s singer David Brennan turn preacher as he delivers a sermon from the ‘Book of Bones Shake’ before going into the assembled crowd to bless members of the audience.
The last half of the set is seriously intense and I now need another beer!!
The band have just released a limited edition 7” single on black vinyl – buy it!!
Described as “if Salvador Dali had a rockabilly band it would be Powersolo”, they have been on my “must-see” list since I saw the video that took the internet by storm and they are making what seems like a rare visit to the UK made more interesting by this being a new line-up.
Live they are another proposition altogether simply starting whilst the background music is still playing, they don’t care, they are to deliver whatever they want, how they want.
We are greeted with a cursory “Bonsoir” after the first song to general indifference, chuckles and shrugged shoulders… from both the crowd and the other members of the band. No-one cares, everyone just wants to dance.
Minor power issues fail to blot the gig as the band launch into Asshole, bouncy and danceable rockabilly from a band that clearly don’t take themselves too seriously, it took them 3 hours or several years to get to Manchester – take your pick! Fun is undoubtedly the order of the day and like most of the people here I am definitely enjoying myself.
The set covers much ground, from the aforementioned Asshole we traverse to Kim Kix’ favourite aeroplane and then segue nicely into that song, yep Boom Babba Do Ba Dabba.
A well deserved encore included their other “hit”, Frantic, which is played at a fairly frantic pace. We get new material too, Los Angeles is from the new album and is followed by “another song about sex”.
Sadly the crowd has thinned somewhat as Kim Kix announces “that’s it” except it isn’t it. The band launch into more of their psycho-rockabilly way past the curfew and no-one cares, the dancing just continues.