The Graveltones, Le Pub Newport
After three almost consecutive trips to Bristol in one week, a gig on our side of the bridge (just) was exactly what was needed, forgoing the car it was public transport all the way for a few beverages and sport watching pre-gig. Happily the public transport all ran very smoothly despite Cardiff hosting international matches in both Rugby and Football, I avoided the commotion by heading to Newport and meeting up with friends for a few pints of quality ale and intelligent discussion before the match took place.
Now during the gig the joys of social media confirmed that the band's van had broken down on route to the venue so after some frantic phone calling and a discussion with the head honcho of Pity My Brain (the show organiser) everything was up in the air. So we moved over to the venue which is excellently split into bar downstairs performance area upstairs, after a bit of waiting, some retro Mario Kart and yet more beer, we were given the green light that the band had arrived. By then we were starving so forgoing the support acts we headed for food and arrived back just as the band were about two songs in.
What followed was a completely raucous, unabashed celebration of garage blues from two men that when not on stage are softly spoken and humble but when on the stage and in full flow play with a searing fire, Jimmy O attacking his guitar, peeling out fuzzed up blues lick after, fuzzed up blues lick while he hollers down the mic and spends more time in the crowd than he does on stage. As the frenetic, kinetic front man he needs a rhythm to keep to and Mikey's simply astounding drumming is that rhythm, his intensely percussive playing is a wonder to behold using the entire drum kit to make the thundering noise at points even forgoing sticks for his hands.
With very little between song banter other than a few thank you's and humble free-spirited peace sharing it was all about the music and songs such as Forget About The Trouble, World On A String and Catch Me On The Fly got the small but enthusiastic crowd shaking their hips, nodding their heads, clapping their hands and using their voices to full effect. Drenched with sweat, voices hoarse and heads full of the devils liquor, few bands can get a party started like The Graveltones, honest music from honest people, no bullsh*t just rock n roll in it's purest form 9/10