Thursday, 3 June 2010

468 THE GRAVY, The X-Impossibles, The Linwood, Boston, MA USA, Friday 20 October 2000

Second gig of the night after The Fly Seville at TTs, and we taxi over from there, hitting the Linwood in Fenway (a dodgy part of town, according to all the guidebooks) at 11.50. The Linwood itself is a bedraggled and smoky bar-room resembling none other than the Kidderminster Market Tavern! The essence of dirty black rock'n'roll, and onstage the X-Impossibles are plying some rocket-powered but tune-free in-yr-face punk rock, straight out of the Descendents' back catalogue. Luckily, we bump into both Todd Spahr and Michael Jordan of The Gravy in quick succession. Michael in particular is as friendly and welcoming as I remembered him to be from my first Boston trip last year. Great to see them both again!

Okay, so the hour is late, and other shows - including the CMJ Festival in NYC - are clashing, but the turnout is totally dismal for this one. A handful of punters at the front are stared out by disinterested locals playing pool and huddling around the dilapidated bar as The Gravy take the stage at 12.30. They are nevertheless witness to an astonishing performance of power and precision by an utterly superb "live" rock act. I've mentioned so often that most Boston bands change for the better when onstage, but with no other band is the metamorphosis more pronounced than with The Gravy. Their brand of pop, occasionally over-complex yet always slightly-delic and brain-hugging, quite simply grows demonic wings and soars live. "Underwire" becomes a cauldron of demonic bass and sleazy dance, "The Thong" is revealed to be blues boogie of the most dynamic order, and newie "Kid Is Gone", with vocal chores split between Michael, Todd and Jim, features precision-sharp 3-part harmony worthy of The Gigolo Aunts. Yup, that good.

"Memory", though, totally crystallises the transformation, stripped of the layers of guitar on the CD version to its' core and becoming a totally kick-ass rock song with a powerful strident chorus. Exhilarating stuff - and the visuals are dynamic as well; these boys know how to put on a rock show, no messin'!

Tiredness sets in as we hang out afterwards, and once packed up, Michael kindly gives us a lift back to our digs. A fitting end to a great night and a great show from The Gravy!

No comments:

Post a Comment