Sunday, May 9, 2010 liverpool show

‘Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll’

This is the question I keep asking myself and others over and over again. Where are the great bands, the dark bands, the bands that make you feel like you are their only fan, the bands that just don’t seem to give a fuck about… well anything really? They are so busy making art, creating, debating, annoying and destroying - even putting out a record almost kills them and playing live… Well that’s even harder work…


BRMC are one of ‘Those’ bands, every album has challenged the listener, every ounce of shame, pain, passion and glory has been bled from their pores, placed before the world to see and hear, to appraise and berate, to love, and yes, to hate…


I think with every album they have gotten better, every time the slab of vinyl gets a release it’s a sheer joy to drop the needle, and latest offering ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’ has become one of my favorite records of the year so far, and tonight ladies and gentlemen we are about to find out if it’s cutting the mustard Live!
As always it’s great to see a band of this quality in my fave city… Liverpool. Once more up the sheer climb of the 02 stairs we go to be met by a sold-out crowd, sweaty, angsty and ready to rock, and the PA is pumping the tunes way out of control, the soundtrack to the ‘Rebel’ life is playing out, and boy does it sound good…


8:55pm Light’s out Liverpool… The band exit their intro feedback straight into their own and hit the ground running  with ‘War Machine’ from the latest album, the lighting is nothing short of sinister, the band are dressed in black leather and within one minute the sweat is dripping onto the floor…


The 02 is black, pitch lack, even the lights over the bar are out, and that’s great because the lights on the stage are most certainly ON… From the back of the venue the uplighting on the band and the sheer bloody bright white and deep red are on the fans and it’s quite a sickening experience, but in a good way. Combining the lights with a bass so deep it’s just plain evil, alongside clear yet demanding drums and sheer bloody beautiful guitar, this three piece are like a 21st century Cream! Three guys in tune, but looking like they are about to fall apart, feeling like they are ready to implode or explode…
Fortunatly it’s the latter not the former that happens as the band tear into their set that’s pepperered and paced, but blessed with just the right amount of new tracks mixed with all the faves from the grave, all delivered with their could-not-give-a-fuck attitude, stop and stare glare, true-blood feeling and melodic undertones…


The band are the bastard children of Vivienne Westwood and Lou Reed, they are the modern Underground with no Velvet, just wrapped in black. It’s apt that I’m seeing this in Liverpool, for tonight BRMC feel like the band the Beatles would have become had they never left Hamburg. Tonight they are real, they have attitude and you feel it, you breathe it, and you are either in or out, there is no middle ground with this band, it’s not even love or hate, it’s love AND hate


I won’t bore you with a song by song review, see the set list because if you know BRMC you already feel the steel. If you don’t then you really need to invest in a record, make it the latest if you can, if not any of them will do, but next time they are around in your town, do yourself a massive favour, take a walk on the wild side and remind yourself ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock N’ Roll. I exit as I came in, through the out door.

Jj: 2010

Ed: Last time I saw B.R.M.C. perform they were shrouded in darkness, so much so I could hardly see them to take pictures. Tonight the band came out of the shadows - physically, musically and emotionally - and I was stunned by it. The intensity, passion, introspection and musical darkness are still there, but I felt from this set that the band has entered a brighter new phase in its career. The set-list was pure genius, the acoustic segment was glorious, and I came away believing that I had just witnessed one of the world’s truly great bands - on record and live. The venue was uncomfortably crammed, but I learnt after the show that the guys forsook a larger Manchester venue (and pay-packet) because they were desperate to play in the British home of Rock ‘n’ Roll - Liverpool. And that folks says just about everything…

Set-List: War Machine, Mama Taught Me Better, Red Eyes And Tears, Bad Blood, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, Love Burns, Ain’t No Easy Way Out, Ava, Berlin, Weapon Of Choice, Take My Time/Rifles, Annabel, Awake, Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk song). ACOUSTIC: River Styx, Shuffle Your Feet, Conscience Killer, Six Barrel Shotgun, Spread Your Love. ENCORE: Stop, Shadow’s Keeper




Black Rebel Motorcycle Club formed in 1998, taking its name from Marlon Brando’s motorcycle gang in the 1953 film The Wild One. Been and Hayes met at high school in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Lafayette and quickly formed a band; Hayes having recently left The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Looking for a drummer, they met Nick Jago, from Devon, England, who had moved to California to be with his parents after spending some time at Winchester School of Art, where he was studying fine art. The band was originally called The Elements, but after discovering that another band had the same name, they changed the name to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The vocals are shared between bassist Robert Levon Been and guitarist Peter Hayes.


The band’s first two records were indebted to classic hard rock influenced by Led Zeppelin and also encompassed slower paced psychedelic rock, space rock, and noise pop influences from bands such as The Verve, Loop, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and The Jesus and Mary Chain.[citation needed] Their second album Take Them On, On Your Own has several songs such as “Generation” and “US Government” that are critical of the United States government.


Been used the pseudonym ‘Robert Turner’ on the first two records, in an attempt to not be linked to his famous father (Michael Been of The Call). He later dropped this identity when promoting Howl.

In 2003, a concert in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England had to be cancelled half way through the set, after Leeds City Council officials suspected the 150 year old floor of Leeds Town Hall might collapse. This led to the band sometimes being referred to as ‘the band who broke the floor’. Problems with drummer Nick Jago began surfacing publicly at the 2003 NME Awards, when Jago remained on stage for nine minutes, completely silent, while accepting an award.


At the 2004 V Festival, Hayes walked out when asked to sign an inflatable penis. After conflict with their record label, the band was dropped by Virgin Records in 2004. Jago’s conflicts came to a head in Scotland, when Jago and Hayes came to blows after a tense gig. Before long, Jago quit. As such, Jago did not take part in the sessions for the band’s third album, Howl. Instead, he went through various rehab attempts, eventually rejoining the band in time to record one track, the ballad “Promise.”


In 2005 the band signed to Echo in the UK, and RCA in the U.S. Howl was released to mostly favorable reviews. It had a stripped-down folk style, a departure from the earlier B.R.M.C. sound. Several of the songs on Howl are said to have been written long before the idea of B.R.M.C. was conceived. On tour for this album the band also employed a temporary fourth member, guitarist Spike Keating.


By 2007, Nick Jago had rejoined B.R.M.C. The band’s fourth album, Baby 81, was released on April 30, 2007 in the UK and Europe and May 1, 2007 in the U.S. The band has posted several songs from Baby 81 on their MySpace page. With Baby 81, they developed a more concrete sound and style: encompassing blues, folk, and rock, while remaining angst-ridden in theme.

On June 6, 2007, BRMC performed in a concert that was streamed live on the internet via MSN Music.
In June 2008, Jago once again left BRMC’s touring line-up, being replaced by The Raveonettes’ touring drummer Leah Shapiro. Jago stated he “took it as I am fired again and to be honest with you I respect their decision”. However, Hayes and Been issued a statement reading: “Nick won’t be joining us for the upcoming European tour, but it’s not true that he is fired. We just feel Nick needs time to sort out exactly what he wants right now. His heart and all his energy and attention is on his own solo project and he needs to see that through.”


On October 27, 2008, the band announced via a MySpace bulletin that they would release their newest album independently. The album would be their first release through their own Abstract Dragon label. The album, titled, The Effects Of 333 is completely instrumental and was made available as a digital download through their official music store on 3:33 A.M Pacific Time on November 1, 2008.

On November 10, 2009 BRMC released a live DVD through Vagrant Records. It was recorded in Glasgow, Berlin, and Dublin during the Baby 81 world tour.

A song by B.R.M.C., “Done All Wrong”, appeared on the soundtrack to the 2009 film New Moon.

BRMC’s sixth studio album, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo was released March 8, 2010 in the UK & Europe and March 9, 2010 in North America.