Monday, 1 March 2010

570 BILL JANOVITZ, Plus Support, London WC2 Borderline, Monday 15 July 2002

And on with the frantic gig pace; this one happening the night before a 6 am start the following day. No rest for the Gig Gods! We drove up quickly, parking in Shepherd's Bush and hitting the venue just before 8, avoiding all the Slayer fans, whose heroes are playing the Astoria tonight! Stood at the bar of this intimate downstairs venue as it filled up, confirming that the Clairvoyants who are playing next week are the Boston band of that name. Can we get there for that one? We'll certainly try!

Bill Janovitz wandered through the venue, recognised me, said hello and shook my hand which was cool. We chatted briefly and also run into our new London friends Lisa and David, who we met at the Sheila Divine show and who happen also to be friends of Bill. We caught up while the support, a female folkie whose name eluded me, peddled her acoustic stuff in the background.

Bill came on at 9, one man and a fat acoustic guitar, upon which he proceeded to strumm the distinctive opening riff to Buffalo Tom's "Summer". The set was once again a mix of Buffalo Tom classics, particularly from their agenda-setting 1992 "Let Me Come Over" album, which defined them as post-grunge US rock auteurs par excellence, and stuff from his introspective, bruised yet highly listenable new "Up Here" collection, all delivered with perfect resonance from both guitar and Bills raw, open and worldly-wise voice. We also got some chat from this confident and laid-back performer, which only hit trouble when the guitar pick-up misfired and he needed to borrow his support's instrument. "Larry", the brilliant, absorbing and emotive number that has latterly become my favourite Buffalo Tom track, finished the set perfectly, and Bill encored with the tricky "Wiser", which he nailed perfectly this time, having struggled with the octave shifts of this plaintive track at his recent Dingwalls gig. All in all, another consummate performance, well worth the lost sleep!

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