Thursday, 25 November 2010

254 BUFFALO TOM, The Verlaines, Bristol Bierkeller, Monday 15 November 1993

This one started off as a bit of disaster, when my ordered tickets never arrived, and the people I then arranged to have my name left on the door with, during the afternoon, were on a completely different planet to the meatheads actually on the door! After a furious David Rose Special broadside, they eventually let us in! Played pool during the support band; how many Bierkeller reviews have that phrase in them? This time, support the Verlaines were an adequate, not unpleasant musical backdrop to my pool dominance against gig buddies Clive and Beef.

I was revved up for The Tom tonight, and really wanted them to kick some serious ass. Despite starting their set with a turbocharged "Velvet Roof" and featuring an early, brilliantly strident and anthemic "Taillights Fade" and titanic "Soda Jerk", their set (based heavily on fine, if slightly over-polished, new LP "Big Red Letter Day") however really didn't scale the heights I was expecting it to. A fine, well rocking set of soulful guitar angst it may have been, but the new material features much more "Handle With Care" signs than their previous, more ragged post-grunge rocky output, and their set suffered slightly from them not really cutting loose. I just got the feeling they'd played much better sets before. Still maybe I'm being over-critical, because I still got down the front, still rocked out and got sweaty, and still really enjoyed myself!

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