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June 30, 2008

Review: Robert Randolph @ Borderline

Robert Randolph & the Family Band did not fail to impress on Friday night. There was no support band so they arrived onstage at around 8:30, played a blistering 90 minute set then headed off to get some rest before the big Hard Rock Calling gig in Hyde Park the following afternoon.

The band were tight and funky, the songs they played ranging from their own compositions to the Doobie Brothers and even included an upbeat tribute to Bo Diddley, who died recently. Robert himself played both his trademark pedal steel guitar, often turbocharged using a wah pedal, giving him a Hendrix-like tone, and a couple of regular 6-string axes.

Three of us went, three of us loved the music, three of us would definitely see the band perform again...

...but not one of us is willing to ever set foot inside Borderline again. It's actually a testament to the quality of the music that we stayed past the first song. While the venue has air-conditioning, the powers that be chose to keep it turned off for the most part. It was so hot and humid in the basement bar that we all felt like we were going to die down there. The management seriously need to look at fixing the airflow in there. The music to one side, Friday night was a truly horrible experience.

To make matters worse, when I got up the following morning I found that after standing awkwardly in that heat for a couple of hours my back had gone out. To say that it wrecked my weekend would be an understatement as I could barely get around for the following two days. I'm still in quite a lot of pain today, thank you very much Mean Fiddler Group.

The only positive spin that I can put on it is that as I was couch-ridden I got to listen to Jason Mraz's new album a couple more times, which is growing on me slowly. I also discovered that I had Placebo's last release, "Meds", but hadn't got round to listening to it. I love Placebo. Balls-to-the-wall goth rock. "Meds" seems to be something of a departure in style (I need to listen to it again) but I have no doubt that in the fullness of time I'll like it.


Further on up the road said...

Damn - should have gone we only got about 30 mins at Hyde Park and I was definitely left wanting much much more.

Further on up the road said...

Jason Mraz - didn't work for me on Sat I'd gladly have had Robert stay on another hour frankly.

All very tight, very professional but very.... nothing just flowed over me and past I'm afraid.

Kenski said...

Jason's a tough one in that to my mind he's usually clever with rhythms and lyrics but as soon as you put his material in the hands of a marketing exec or producer you suck the energy from it.

When I've seen him live before it's been at small venues where he really goes in for audience rapport and participation. I can't imagine that Hyde Park would be the ideal venue :-) I also don't think that his latest album is likely to go down well live as it's too laid back and you kinda have to listen to it 5 times before you 'get it'... and once you've got it you may feel you don't have to listen to it again!

It'll be interesting for me to see him perform by himself (in about a week?!) I'm sure he'll skip all the early stuff (which I really like) and focus on the new... we'll see.

It's always a bit of a cop out to say that you have to listen to someone's early stuff to 'get it', though. I mean, progression should always be forwards/upwards, shouldn't it?

Axe Victim said...

Progression would mean more about getting the project back online I'd say. It's almost July. This means you now only have five months left to form a band, rehearse some songs and play a gig. You will need at least three songs even if it is to be an open mic session. Work work work - keep it up fella. Dont' get too side tracked with the social scene.

Kenski said...

Point taken Mr Axe (though by my maths I'm only 6 months through, so I have an additional month (unless you think the holiday season will be a traditional wipe-out?)

I was supposed to have a meetup with one of the contacts from Partysounds but they didn't get back to me about it. As it turned out, what with having knackered my back, I wouldn't have been able to travel. Today's a bit of a challenge at work, but hey, gotta work or don't get paid, right?

Axe Victim said...

Yes but what you need to take into consideration is the summer season. You will find that more people will be looking to hook up after the holidays. That's why Magic Ship always takes the summer off. September is when it will start to happen again and then where will you be? Get cracking now before you lose too much time. And be prepared for no shows, general disapointment and so forth because this is where the hard bit begins. The music is a piece of piss by comparison. When the going gets tough, the tough get going etc. Only you can make it happen. It'll be a cold day in hell when sombody rings you up out of the blue and says "Let's start a band?" You have to drive it. Ask yourself: Am I ready to re motivate myself and drive towards my goal? You've done the job thing, now the band thing should be easy by comparison. Go for it Red Dawg!

Kenski said...

True, true and true. I think my approach has to be that I just keep looking for new people even if there seems to be a decent possibility on the horizon. Chances are that 99% of the nibbles won't come to squat, even some of the ones that look really promising.

I do appreciate reminders like this, cos it's so easy to become complacent!

Axe Victim said...

You know I don't mean anything hurtful Ken. I just want you to be a big sucsess. Grab it while you can.