Tuesday, December 7, 2010

@ The Pyramids

by Vicky Halliday
photos by Kyle Bunkin

We missed Duke Spirit. I was distraught, Kyle went to the bar (it’s how we cope with situations that makes us unique) The one song I managed to catch sounded heavenly. Bugger to the lure of mulled wine, which I blame solely for the delay in our arrival :(

Soooo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. My first impression was that the crowd was made up of disparate sectors of the Portsmouth musical contingent. The atmosphere was odd and the crowd restless in places – this may be partly down to the plummeting temperatures. The fact that half the crowd were socially networking, whilst the band performed, is never a good sign. Soooo, what went wrong?

1 There were technical difficulties. The sound cut out completely at one point.
2 The venue was half full but the audience was chatty, meaning that during the more acoustic tracks the music was totally drowned out.
3 Southsea was experiencing sporadic power cuts, so some of the gig was in pitch darkness.
4 The set was extremely disjointed. Band members wandered off, leaving Peter, his acoustic guitar and a harmonica. Which was immediately followed by one of the more hard-hitting, crowd pleasers. This allowed no build up or come down or natural flow between songs. In fact, it made for a rather confusing show.

But, when they’re great, they’re truly great. Despite the almost complete lack of banter or interaction, the more punch-packing tracks (“Spread you Love”, “Whatever Happened to my Rock n’ Roll”) were fantastic. I will say, I prefer the garage end of their repertoire. The slide-guitar and harmonica side of their set just doesn’t do it for me so much.

With more than a nod to Southern rock, it’s like The Jesus and Mary Chain are performing for The Dukes of Hazzard at a hoedown. All in all, it was an odd night – with half of me thinking it was fantastic and the other half totally bewildered.