Tuesday, 25 May 2010

484 JACK DRAG, Monkey Steals The Drum, Morbius, Camden "Barfly at the Monarch", London, Monday 5 February 2001

A ferocious recent gig pace is maintained, as I met Rachel from work and we hit the M4 for our 3rd gig in 4 days. This time I'm pretty much guaranteed nobody landing on my head, though... Took a relatively leisurely drive along the beat route to Camden, given a bit of cold floating around my head, parking up in the High Street just before 1/4 to 8 and having a drink in the Monarch downstairs bar. John Dragonetti, boy genius and inspiration behind Jack Drag, wandered in at 8 with girlfriend and new Jack Drag keyboard player Blake Hazard, both of them greeting Rachel and I like long lost friends, which was nice. Spent 1/2 hour or so chilling and chatting with the softly spoken but very sweet and open Mr. Dragonetti, also meeting touring bass player and old Jack Drag hand Joe Klompus, a real frizzy haired rock throwback and a total gent, in the process. Shame old Gigolo Aunts buddy Steve Hurley wasn't still touring with John, as he'd been recently doing in the US, but excellent to meet another Boston rocker!

Had a wander upstairs to catch the first 2 acts of this eclectic Shifty Disco showpiece. Morbius, a couple of DJs resembling dodgy accountants, pounded out migraine-inducing hard house on banks of battered keyboards, before the splendidly named Monkey Steals The Drum regaled us with some unfortunately clumsy zeitgeist-chasing shouty hard and heavy US rock. Not really impressed by either!

Luckily, we had a trip from the ridiculous to the sublime, with the new Jack Drag threesome. A step forward in live potency from my previous experience, Jack Drag's low-key yet lip-smackingly delicious and assiduous pop benefitted greatly from the flush of live bass and keyboard sweep augmenting John's instinctive colourful guitar lines. Merrily laid-back, summery and easy-going, yet not afraid to punch you unexpectedly with a strident sample or chunky guitar riff, the hour-long set was absorbing, evocative, emotive and mighty fine, with the shimmering psychedelic rumble of "At The Symphony" my set highlight.

A lovely set, and a nice chat with John afterwards before hails and farewells, and home via the Camden Grilled Chicken sandwich. Delicious - but not as delicious as the sounds of Jack Drag!

No comments:

Post a Comment