WhiskeyDick, Howl, The Jonestown Flood, The Moon Club, Cardiff
Once again in to The Moon club for a night of quality music, this venue is one of my faves as it mixes good beer, with a cosy atmosphere and most importantly for a nerd like me excellent sound quality! Tonight was all about the headliners, having been acquainted with these Southern Gents when they supported Peter Pan Speedrock, myself and my Redneck loving compatriot Rhod were very excited indeed that we were going to get a headline show from the Texas twosome, in support of their EU compilation album (review coming soon) which gives you 15 of their best and most popular tracks (with one exclusion I will explain later) on one album.
So we set off bedecked in our fanboy WD shirts, grabbed a (strong) drink and made our way upstairs. Before the evening kicked off we got to shoot the shit with the band and they are great guys; humble and friendly they took on board our wittering and we shared jokes and stories as well as a bit of Wayne's World-esque hero worship from Rhod. The conversation would be continued through the night but we were first interrupted by the racket coming from the cavern where the bands play. So without much arm twisting we (us and the band) made our way to watch the first band.
The Jonestown Flood
The racket was coming from Welsh garage/blues trio The Jonestown Flood who set about playing their no-frills swampy blues to a filling venue, they immediately got heads nodding with their Southern style stomp as Rhys and Niall plough a heavy rhythm furrow throughout and even gave us a jazz odyssey while Joe Kelly switched to another guitar after his broke after the first song; this was probably due to his penchant for jiving like mad to every song as if he was being shocked, still with all three instruments present and correct the band worked through their set well with real confidence and energy. A nice grungy opening band with a bluesy/garage groove to kick off the boozy proceedings! 8/10
Second up were Howl and things took a more experimental turn as they are not as immediate as TJF relying more on hard rock jams and sonic freakouts than the more structured songs that had come before. Again three piece, Howl are deep in stoner territory playing the kind of music to smoke weed too with their massive wall of noise ringing out around the venue as Tom Rees beat the hell out of his kit and Marcell Davies (a man who has watched Lemmy a bit too much) rumbled our collective under-carriages leaving Grant Jones to attack his guitar and bark the lyrics as the sonic assault continued. After the set was over all were agreed we got a real battering but in a good way, Howl are a band that won't be happy until you go home deaf, which I like a lot. 8/10
As the drums were cleared away, the stools were set up, the acoustics were unzipped and tuned, the two hulking Southern dudes from WhiskeyDick, played a little and then without fanfare immediately launched into their two man acoustical jam, chicken pickin' and ass kickin' from the outset. The band have managed to acquire quite a collection of songs from their 7 albums and they play a set made up of their best, sonically they are like an acoustic version of Pantera or BLS fronted by legendary outlaw David Allen Coe (or indeed the Rebel Meets Rebel project that features Pantera and DAC). The songs are layered with some great lead playing from Rev. Johnson who plays an acoustic better than a lot of guitarists play an electric, he is expressive when he solos on the Fallen Heroes their tribute to Dimbag which expertly shifts into Zakk Wylde's masterpiece In This River and got the crowd chanting along and he plays at a mean pace on the countrified, juggernaut of 18 Wheels Of Hell. The good Reverend is aided and abetted by his Hillbilly cohort Fritz who plays like Pappa Het (so many downstrokes) and sings like Mr Coe his rich bass vocals rumbling the soul as he tells tales of whiskey drinking, weed smoking, hell raising and woman chasing or all of the above on the excellently titled Train Robbing, Gun Toting, Dope Smoking, Guitar Picking, Mother Fucking, Good Time Band a song written in 1865(!) apparently. This is where WhiskeyDick come into their element they are an honest, down home band that are just fun, they seem to have a blast on stage and this energy is infectious the crowd were loving every note shouting every foul mouthed word Yeehaw! and drinking for their lives on Black Tooth Grin and the awesome Drunk As Hell. As the end of the set drew near there was a shout, then a noise and then we were into the finale of the hilarious Wookiee Pussy. Then it was over, cheers greeted the Fort Worth natives and we all made our way out to converse and drink a little more, we were all leaving elated having just seen an amazing set of hell raising, mud stomping, acoustic Hillbilly metal from a band that are now fully entrenched as one of my favourite live acts. Yeehaw motherfucker indeed!! 10/10