Jumping Hot Club, Cluny
6th December 2010
The Legendary Jumpin’ Hot Club of Newcastle celebrated its 25th Anniversary in style with a blistering double header featuring Toronto’s finest exponents of Psychedelic induced Country Rock, the Sadies and local Garage band – the Handsome Dicks.
The ‘Dicks stormed the stage sporting quiffs, white shirts, black waistcoats, skinny black ties and even skinnier black jeans and went on to melt the snow in a two mile radius with a blistering hot set of home grown Rockabilly influenced Garage Rock. There is a buzz going around town at the moment about these guys and for once it’s justified.
The packed Cluny crowd were visibly excited at seeing regular visitors, the Sadies and the wait was justified as they picked up were the Handsome Dicks left off.
I’d never seen the Sadies play live previously but instantly regretted that as soon as the unfeasibly tall Good brothers entered the stage wearing garish baby blue Nudie suits and carrying blood red guitars.
During the first two, hundred miles an hour country tinged rock tunes all I could think of was that Hank would be proud of these boys. As a new found convert to the Sadies music I didn’t know the titles of the first two instrumentals which sounded like Link Wray playing the theme from The Beverley Hillbillies and the second could have been the soundtrack to an Imaginary Western film.
I did catch the introduction to Strange Birds which was a co-write with the mighty Jon Langford and certainly had his trademark punk-cowpoke twang to it.
There was now no time to catch your breath between songs as Another Day Again blended in to Palace of Hope which morphed into another Gretsch powered instrumental.
By now the bar was empty and the audience were tapping their feet and even threatening to boogie; but pulled back at the last minute.
Highlight of the evening for me was when Travis put down his big red Gretsch guitar and picked up a fiddle. Normally I would run a million miles from a Country fiddle player but during Higher Power he gave that lad from the Charlie Daniels band a run for their money as he made smoke come from the strings as he made the bow shoot over them as Dallas’ tried to keep pace on his Stratocaster.
During West Spring Circus the brothers showed off their dexterity by standing side by side and sliding hands through arms until they were actually playing each others guitars – I was mightily impressed.
A couple more songs from latest album Dark Circles and the band left the stage to a chorus of yelps, howls and some serious foot stomping from the sweaty packed crowd and the noise was rewarded with a five song encore; including a breakneck 45 second version of 16 Mile Creek!
The evening came to a perfect end as the guys serenaded us with a 5 minute ‘freak out’ version of A House is not a Hotel from Forever Changes by Love.
This was a fantastic night of what can genuinely be described as Alternative Country Music.