Thursday, 11 March 2010

558 DUSTBALL, JACK DRAG, Young Knives, Bath Moles, Thursday 18 May 2002

Found out about this almost by accident; checking the Jack Drag website for possible Boston shows in June while we're there, we found out he was playing 3 UK dates this week! So, we headed down to late-night Bath Moles for this, the second of his three, along with a curious Ady, who I really didn't think would enjoy this,. But hey, you never know! Hit the venue at 10, getting in on their complicated "paying guest-list". I've never understood this policy, and it made even less sense tonight as the place was deserted!

John Dragonetti, the mainman of this shifting collective that is Jack Drag, and his girlfriend/ keyboard player Blake Hazard, wandered into the club at 10.15, greeting us like long-lost friends which was as lovely as ever. We caught up with a thoroughly engaging couple while the first band were on, so I have no recollection as to what they were like, other than that they were loud! I also recognised JD's drummer Steve Scully as he arrived with bass player Joe Klompus, and introduced myself to the erstwhile Francine sticksman, who allegedly remembered me from the Gravel Pit after-show party at James Horrigan's place back in 1999! Well, I was a little drunk and loud there, so it's quite possible...

Jack Drag, on at 11, played a sadly truncated set - only half an hour - but they filled it with more ideas, interesting noises, colour and pop, and simple superb pop tunes, than most other bands would struggle to pack into 3 hours! Drawing totally from new CD "The Sun Inside". John and co. played a mighty fine-sounding set of inventive, introspective, slightly trippy but always good and groovy tunes, lent an extra edge with Steve's "live" drum lines. John again also demonstrated a serious guitar pop virtuosity, as yet another Boston band scored a direct hit in the live environment, with a fine set!

Compliments afterwards before catching Dustball, who were headlining. I dunno, I'd not seen them for years, and now they show up twice in a week. What are the chances? They were again impressive, breathless, hard-edged and spiky, with the Molko-esque frantic vocal delivery of their painfully young (still!) singer to the fore. I'll certainly check them out again, but tonight, as we cleared off after their set at 12.45, the night belonged to Jack Drag!

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