Sunday, January 27, 2008

Whelan's: Gallon Drunk

Huzzah, GALLON DRUNK are back. Or at least they were back a couple of months ago when I went to this concert. And they have Terry Edwards* back in the band, bringing us some saxophone goodness. They also boast a proper oldarse bass player who looks the part, as opposed to a session muso muppet from central casting they were stuck with last time I saw them. Excellent. Obviously it would have been nice if at some point in the gig Joe Byfield had suddenly leaped in from the side to add some maraca attack to their music, but you cannot have everything.

For the younger readers out there, Gallon Drunk were a band who enjoyed brief popularity in the early 1990s but then vanished into a void due to record company madness. I missed the bus back then, but picked up on their amazingness when they were on the road again in the later 1990s, in a period when they were basically attempting to reassert their relevance to a world that had moved on. Their music has a certain swamp rock quality to it, combined with a louche swagger. Their lyrical concerns follow the dark sides of nights out in olde London towne. They are basically one of the world's greatest live bands, even now, and your life is empty if you have never seen them.

On this occasion they gave it all, putting on a great show for the discerning audience present. Songs from the most recent album demonstrated the kind of full-on woaaahhh qualities you want from the Drunk, so I bought it. It is called The Rotten Mile. I like it. I also bought a remastered version of From The Heart Of Town, their classic second album, to see if it was better mastered than the earlier release I have. And it is! Excellent, now I will have to reacquire their back catalogue.

I also joined a Gallon Drunk mailing list after going to the concert, but the posters seem to be mainly people who think, incorrectly, that I need to enlarge my penis.

Image from some website called Delusions of Adequacy's review of the Gallon Drunk reissues.

*Almost wrote Terry Riley there… now that would have been awesome.

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