Wednesday, 14 April 2010

518 Mancie, DRYER, Trucker, Motorplant, TT The Bear's Place, Cambridge, MA USA, Wednesday 27 June 2001

Following a day continuing our "get the fuck out of the city" theme by spending a lovely day in Salem, exploring the scene of the 1602 Witch Trials, we're nevertheless back in Boston in time for this show. We arrive early at TTs to be enveloped in a huge bear hug from a short chunky Vietnamese chap! Yup, it's Bobby Dryer, who promptly puts us on tonight's guest list - cool! - but then immediately accompanies us to the Middle East Corner restaurant for nosh. We play catch-up with a genuinely wonderful chap, and a Bostonian mate of his, who's such entertaining company (despite his bad leg) that I don't mind springing for his supper as well!

The salmon salad delays our getting back into TTs', so we end up missing most of Motorplant's pleasant sounding set. Played pool pretty much exclusively during second band Trucker, who sported "Tool" t-shirts and sounded harsh and industrial. Interesting in parts, but not my cup of sump oil. Bob does his best to avoid playing us at pool, saying he doesn't want to show us up. Yeah, right...

So Bob instead decides to concentrate on what he's - and we're - here for tonight! Dryer take the stage at a shade before 11, immediately hitting the riff to opener "Starry Skies". It's evident that something's up with the mix, as the guitar sounds coming out of the PA are nothing like as ferocious as Bob's chops, but we start rocking regardless. Dryer put on an energetic and effervescent performance of their choppy and poppy riff-led powerpop, and thankfully the sound sorts itself out. The jagged, angular "Paper Clock" and the moody, moving and magnificent "Wolves", which bassist Rachel Sunday does lead vocals on, spitting out the words with venom and bile, are my highlights of a fine set rescued by their verve and energy from bad mix hell.

Headliners Mancie sound loud and shouty, so we hit the road early into their set, but not before more bearhugs and words of encouragement from the star of the show; good old Bobby Dryer!

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