Gig report - The Fleshtones

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Indulge me if you will, (there's always work you could be doing if you don't wanna read;P)

Had the good fortune tonight to go see a band. The Fleshtones. In this perky wee pub called JJ's. Now this joint is no more then 20 feet wide at its chunkiest point but it fair stretches back from the road, it's brick walls creating just enough space for a bar and a couple of lavvies and a few stools pushed up against the side of the wall. Out back there's an open area with some notably uncomfortable metal chairs and park benches but if you need to smoke some 'pot' there's the place to go.

Anyhoo, made my way there with KC and Missy somewhat early, round about half nine. No many folk there but a group of four older looking guys, noticable by their greying hair, skinny bodies lacquered in simple sheet-like clothes and air of the casually studied unusual about them. Must be the band. Now I'm sure plenty of ya seen bands whose time in the sun was really 20 odd years ago and when you've looked at them mullin around like ordinary fellas they've had an sense of, well, a miasma of the pathetic about them. Holding on to times that surely long gone. Hell, personally yer finding it easier yerself to admit to those around you that the era of buck wild is showing all signs of having come to a close sometime longer ago then last month, what these old fools think they playing at?

Give these fellas a stage and a few beers and a whole other perspective will quickly come up and slap you in the face, pinch yer cheeks and turn yer head into a fresher kind of wind. Aye, after wandering back inside from the outside, where refuge from the warm-up act had been sought, it was near instantly clear that these cats still had it. Hard not to realise when they are running through a tune which is not actually bigging up the elements of the Deep South that they were mingling into while training up and down the bar through a chord stomp. Shitkicker boy in his ink and idiot shirt look non-too-pleased when his Miller High Life got a bash from the head of a guitar but fucked if The Fleshtones were gonna be intimidated. Nope, turning the recipe for disaster over and whacking out a colourful illustration of instruction was obviously a talent this band had been sharpening for quite some time.

JJ's may be compacted and close but The Fleshtones - each and all with even the drummer projecting himself out into the stage from his enforced playground on the rug-covered riser - sure as shit knew how to turn a small venue into an atmosphere defining asset. Thewiry guitarist with his silver flat-cap was up and down from the stools and the bar like he was looking for his youth tacked somewhere to the heights of the back wall, joined by the bassist who resembled the third round pick from the ageing punk pool for the Duke of Hazard live action Show! Chuck in a singer who combined a flyin electric organ and a driving mouthie performance disguised and it's little wonder the collected crowd all knew they were part of something special.

I've not had an experience like that outside of a club wit choons and sweets, where the vibe is eclectically electric and the appreciation levels are set to universal grin. I'd started the night with a sagging mind and a flagging arse but just a few moments of these old farts forced me to rise up and have a good time. K, mighta been a little high, drunk and a tad stoned but that ain't the point; tis the gravy. These fellas surprised the hell out of me and showed me a finer time then I've had since I arrived here and filled me with the kind of excited joy I've not felt in quite a while, (guess who forgot their porn drive). I suppose it was most akin to being at a festival with a merry heed on yet all within the confines of a place that was like an ald mannies pub with the wallls creaking in.

/posts before he realises how gay this will all read in the morn
#1 at 10:13:14 - 24/05/2007