Monday, 26 July 2010

417 SENOR HAPPY, The Gentlemen, The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA USA, Tuesday 10 August 1999

A "touristy" day today, walking the Freedom Trail, going up Bunker Hill Monument and shopping in Quincy Market! But after a day off, I'm ready for some more Boston Rock! Awake at 9 pm after a short nap in a slight panic, as I don't know when tonight's show starts, or even where the Lizard Lounge is! A call to Tremont sorts things out, and Pete Stone comes to the rescue of this stranded and flailing Brit, picking me up at 10. What a gentleman!

We head over the Lizard Lounge in good time for the Gentlemen, who are basically Mike Gent, backed up by the Gravel Pit minus Jed, indulging their more trad-rock and bluesy urges. The set veers between hard rocking blues and a more West Coast FM radio sound, with Mike Gent’s harsh strident tones complementing the material well. The guys are more restrained than Saturday, due to the restrictions of the Lizard Lounge (it reminds me of playing in someone’s front room; the band set up in the middle, and everyone gathers around) which mutes their dynamism somewhat. They’re not the Gravel Pit (despite the fact that they are, well, three quarters anyway) but the set is still well rocking and fun.

Senor Happy are on soon after, and Tom Polce (my “awesome” conversationalist) and Joe McMahon (who I met at the Pit aftershow party and who reminds me of my friend Rich, being equally round, bald, bearded and funny) prove able back-ups for vocalist Derek Skanky. Derek has somewhat of a “reputation” around town, but onstage is very talented and knows it. The set initially disappoints, but picks up when Ed’s roommate Dave joins on extra guitar, and their understated moody bedsit guitar pop takes on an extra edge. The groovy, edgy and deliciously short (less than a minute long!) “Take You There” and “Soon” are the highlights of a fine set.

Get a cab back to Ed’s, as he has to pack the stuff away at the rehearsal space. Hit the hay just after 1, when it suddenly hits me what a busy day this has been.

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