Another trip to Fibbers was on the cards (Friday nights out are getting more and more regular, just like these postings.
First on was Ishtar – all the guys except me had seen them before and knew what to expect. For about thirty minutes, the four guitarists and one drummer played either one tune (there’s no singing) or, possibly, three tunes which segued into each other perfectly. Apart from the drummer, there is little movement on stage and very little emotion shown. Very good, though.
Second was The Falling Spikes. Competent if uninspiring music but the vocals were fairly dull. The singer was constantly leaning down to reach the mike – either he didn’t realise that the stand was adjustable or he was trying for some sort of reverse-Lemmy effect – and had an expression that was halfway between angst-ridden and about-to-burst-into-tears. Of the five songs, three sounded the same and only the last one revived quite a dull set.
Finally, an L.A. band called The Warlocks. I had listened to snippets of their music on myspace during the day and was looking forward to seeing them live. Their profile said they were an octet with two drum kits – how were they going to fit on Fibbers’ stage?? From my vantage point, I could see the two drums kits but only five musicians, including the female bass player who, like Ishtar, appeared completely devoid of emotion. For some reason, the sound man had cranked the volume about to about 12, resulting in a bit of early feedback and some quite unnerving bass vibrations. Trouble is that we didn’t know whether they were supposed to sound like that. After all, unless the sound man had gone home or was totally deaf, he didn’t seem to think there was much wrong. Anyway, while the music sounded like it could have been good, the vocals were totally inaudible. I would like to hear more, though, so may seek out one of their CDs.
After that it was on to the Swan for what could be a duet of farewells. Tom, the landlord, was moving on and the full Hazzard County (except for Chris) were playing what, apparently, had been advertised as their last gig. To celebrate, it appeared that Tom had given the regular staff the night off and that everybody who had ever been a member of the Hazzards (except for Chris) got a stint in front of the mike or playing some sort of instrument. It got to the point where a scorecard was needed to work out who had played what with, at one point towards the end, Tom (the landlord, not the drummer) having a go at the drums. While it looked a bit chaotic at times, it was a cracking performance overall and, due to me getting a lift in, one I was able to see right to the end. There were emotional speeches from Tom and lots of applause when he announced that, if he managed to find another pub in town, he would continue to book live music. We were finally kicked out of the pub after 1 o’clock this morning.
If that was the Hazzard’s last gig, it’s a damned shame – the more I heard of them, the more I liked them. And, how many other bands have been together, even with changes of line-up, for something like thirteen years. Strangely enough, though, there was no farewell from them.