Friday, 16 July 2010

436 THE SHAZAM, Myracle Brah, London Camden Monarch "Barfly" Club, Thursday 30 March 2000

Decided to hit the gig trail again, after noticing a London gig by the band whose new CD "Godspeed The Shazam" I've been playing incessantly this year. Got 2 tickets reserved on the door, and Rachel and I hit the road at 5. Problems parking as Shepherd's Bush Car Park is shut, so we street parked, tubed over then found the venue - a new location for the "Barfly" club and a new one for me, a smallish upstairs room of the pub.

The first band didn't look too promising; a terrible name, a zoot-suited bassist with cropped hair and eyeshadow, and a singer resembling old movie star James Caan. However, they played a surprisingly very melodic and well-constructed set with shades of, ooh, lots of good stuff; Matthew Sweet and the Umajets for starters. One to look out for, methinks!

The Shazam set was delayed, as drummer Scott, clad in a superb iridescent blue shirt, went missing! Happily reunited with kit and band, he then counted down into "Super Tuesday", the excellent opener, via a "rawk" intro. The Shazam are a Nashville band, but take their cue from spangly, slightly glammish rock with huge choruses and excellent harmonies, rather than mawkish C&W from The Grand Old Opry. Cheap Trick are an obvious influence (hence shouts of, "Robin Zander!" from the crowd) but I also hear the strident choruses of Redd Kross, and, dare I say it, Gigolo Aunts-like harmonies! The set was beset with poor quality guitar sound, but nevertheless they put on a great show, and Rachel and I rocked out.

Time and technical difficulties forced an earlier than intended end to the set, but t'was a half hour well worth travelling for. Complimented them afterwards (receiving compliments too, as the guitarist thanked us for, "making the set" by rocking out and singing along) and bought excellent cheap (£5!) t-shirts from vocalist Hans, who with long hair and a Deep South accent, bore a striking resemblance to WWF wrestler "Double J" Jeff Jarrett! Caught the tube afterwards alongside a fanzine editor, swapping stories of following Liverpool bands in the 80's, which was cool, but merely the icing on a Shazam-filled cake. "Godspeed home" for 12.30, missing headliners Madrugada. But after these 2 sets, who cares?

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