Dan Baird and Homemade Sin plus the Stacie Collins Band.
Bootleggers Bar, Kendal, Cumbria.
5th July 2010
Kendal is normally described in guide books as a quaint little market town in the English Lake District; but tucked away in a dark back alley lurks Bootleggers; which is the nearest thing I’ve ever found to an American Roadhouse in England’s Green and Pleasant Land.
I’ve been a fan of Stacie Collins for 10 years now; (even though she still only looks 23) and this was my first opportunity to see her play live. Boy was it worth the wait.
The gorgeous Stacie sashayed onto the stage wearing sexy knee high stiletto boots, a pair of velvet ‘Daisy Duke’ hot pants, a tight black t-shirt and a Stetson at a jaunty angle. She could have read the telephone directory and I would have been smitten; but she didn’t – she burst straight into the rocker Baby Sister from her second album LUCKY SPOT. The pace never let up with Stacie and husband Al Collins flirting and mugging through songs like 2nd CD title track Lucky Spot which was apparently about how her Daddy wooed her Mom when she was a teenage waitress and Own Damn Fault. Most songs featured Stacie blowing an assortment of Mouth organs/harps which is an instrument we don’t hear enough of in Country Music and at least twice I expected to see reeds and metal flying in all directions as she gave us a master class in the how to play the instrument.
The pace only slowed up once for a dirty and sassy blues tune called Blackmail from the forthcoming album, Sometimes Ya Gotta.
The 45 minute support slot flew by and ended with rip-roaring version of Jumping Jack Flash which she very nearly made her own.
The Stacie Collins Band have a third album due out later this year and fingers crossed, they will be back to promote it with a full UK Tour.
During the intermission the ‘house full’ sign went up meaning 150 people were now packed into a hot and sweaty back street bar and the roar that went up when Dan Baird and Homemade Sin launched themselves onto the stage could be heard on top of Scafell.
Dan Baird, bassist Keith Christopher and drummer Mauro Magellan were all founder members of the Georgia Satellites and Warner E Hodges from Jason and the Scorchers must simply be the single best guitarist in Rock music at the moment and together they produce music that is not only classic but futuristic. I’ve seen an awful lot of bands and singers in the last 40 years including the Faces and Springsteen in their prime and even the Stones and Who when they were way passed their prime but I have genuinely never seen a band who can rock and roll as well as Homemade Sin.
I’m not exactly a fan of Baird’s solo work so hardly recognised any of the songs apart from the covers – When will I be loved? Harper Valley PTA and a version of Tears of a Clown that would have made Smokey Robinson’s eyes spin! My favourite was when they started with A Hard Days Night and morphed it into Get it On by T Rex; which are both in my Top 10 songs of all time.
The band fooled around all night and gave the impression of being sloppy but they were actually professional beyond belief by playing without a set list and Dan just playing a note or two or mouthing a title and the band would be note perfect on something from his extensive back catalogue.
At one stage Warner E Hodges was playing his Fender so furiously he snapped a string. Within three notes Dan Baird had taken over lead duties and Hodges played rhythm until the end of the song. It had to be seen to be believed.
Keith Christopher is a good solid bass player but even I was startled at the downright dirty sound he produced on the bump and grind of Love be a Lady.
Homemade Sin played for just over two solid hours without a let up and returned to play another 15 minutes of encores. Because the audience had run out of steam before them; the band had to shout requests for their own favourites. Warner won and we were treated to a 5 minute version of Led Zeppelins Rock and Roll followed by a gritty and noisy While My Guitar Gently Weeps, then they were gone.
When I arrived in Kendal in the afternoon I never for one minute expected that I would see a gig that would go straight into my top 5 of all time.
Originally published in Maverick Magazine UK, www.maverick-country.com