Whiskey Myers/ Broken Wit Rebels @ St Lukes, Glasgow
Whiskey Myers Broken Wit Rebels @ St Lukes, Glasgow
These Texans have had one hell of a 2016. It all kicked off here in the UK where their support slot to The Cadillac Three brought them to a whole new audience. I was one of those punters who saw them live for the first time and was blown away. That has followed with brilliant sets at Download and Ramblin man and oh, just throw the immense album “Mud” into the equation and you can understand why this gig was moved from the smaller King Tuts as it sold out almost immediately.
Before we get to the headliners we have two support acts tonight who put in totally different sets but won the hearts, minds and wallets of this crowd. First up was John David kent who is good buddies with the Whiskey boys and is a fellow Texan.
We get a stripped back set which consists of just John on acoustic and his brother on drums. I got into the venue just as they started and I could not believe the sound that these two were making. The old church was filled with just those two instruments and the result was just angelic. John’s deep and blues dipped soulful voice just tugged on your heartstrings.
John is also covering bass for Whiskey Myers so I wonder if this was his compromise for agreeing and just like The Cadillac three, Whiskey Myers has introduced me to my new favourite things. I hope that John’s fortunes follow the headliners and I for one will be back as soon as he travels across the pond again.
Next up are Brummies Broken Wit Rebels and tonight they are the British filling in a Texan sandwich, a sandwich that Whiskey Myers would describe as a Texan sized filling. Tonight is the night I finally get to see these boys live and thank goodness for that as I was getting a bit fed up with everyone telling me how good they are. Every time they have played Glasgow it has clashed with another gig but going by tonight’s performance I will not be putting them second place again.
From the moment I heard that heavy, lazy assed riff of opening number “Low” I was hooked, mix that with the moment Danny Core opened his mouth and filled that church with those beautiful tones there was no going back. In fact about 30 seconds into this song I head a huge crash vibrate through my feet and as I turned around it dawned on me that every woman and a few mens knicker elastic had just snapped(mine even got a little shaky). Danny’s voice is so carnal and animalistic it should have a David Attenborough voice over.
I have been playing the bands EP “Georgia Pine” for some time but I was not expecting it to sound so different and 10 notches of awesomeness higher than the recorded version. Take the EP’s title track for instance, on record it is a solid piece of work but in the live environment and in the perfect acoustic venue it takes on a life of its own. I am sure this band will get lots of Kings Of Leon comments but that is just down to Danny’s voice but this band are so deeply soulful and dripping in the blues it hurts.
As any lover of music knows it is not one member that makes a band and this was another reason why I was bowled over, guitarist James Tratner takes you back to the understated artist, the likes of Rich Robinson which I wonder if the whole Georgia name comes from. He is a no frills player who still grabs your attention purely based on his fretwork. You then have the commander of cool on bass who is not looking for the understating way and is very vocal and works the crowd well. He also has a magnificent tache so I hope that there is no Moustache envy going on between him and Stevie Westwood(Bad Touch Vocalist) when they go on tour together next year( This will be one gig you do not want to miss). This leaves James Dudley and it appeared that he was the Rebels glue. But put these four guys together on a stage and you have magic. The set was way too short for my liking so I hope we get a much longer set than the eight numbers tonight.
Trust me when I say if you like your classic rock shaken and stirred with a bit of soul and blues you cannot get much better than this great little British band. Do yourself a favour and see them now in the smaller venues before you have to be sitting online at 9AM hoping you can purchase a decent ticket in the huge halls, this band has a massive future ahead of them and it is going to take one break or sheer word of mouth but it is coming.
Just Like The Broken Wit Rebels, Whiskey Myers blew me away with their support slot earlier this year and going by this sold out tour(twice in Glasgow) a lot of people felt the same. I spoke to people tonight who had travelled from England for this show so that is some going for a band that had only supported previously. When a bands first song is the quality of “Early Morning Shakes” you know exactly why they are becoming the band to see. It also helps when you are playing a gig in Glasgow and everyone knows those shakes all too well. That damned whisky is unforgiving.
Next up is “Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd” and this sees the 12 legged snake slither into full throttle. The crowd kicks off in fashion and the rafters are shaking from bourbon dripping guitars, 3 of them in total all coming at you and your eardrums.
“Green River” takes it down a notch or two and lets you focus on the instruments and the sound. A sound that Whiskey Myers steals from differing genres and patches it all together just like the band members. As you watch this band in action you know each and every one of them just loves what they do. You also get a real feel of appreciation of the reception that they get from this crowd. A crowd that was on fire and ready for a party…this could be the biggest collection of sinners this church has seen in many a year but not one damn was given. I even ventured into the pulpit to take photos and guess what? The ground did not shake and the roof did not collapse.
As much as I was here for the old stuff I was desperate to hear the new tracks live as the fourth album for me is a different level of class altogether and as the swampy riff from “Mud” comes out of the PA I am in hog heaven, the new stuff was sublime live, in fact “Frog Man” was probably my favourite of the evening.
There was an absolute corker of a cover in the White Stripes “ 7 Nation Army”. It took myself and the audience about a minute to realise what song it was as it winds and twists like a river from bluesy guitars before replacement bassist John David Dent kicks in with that beat. This track just tore the crowd apart, it was so well done and so different it just made peoples nights. I dragged along a few people tonight that had heard none of the bands before and they were impressed with each of them but this song in particular made their night and I know for sure that Whiskey Myers has hooked a whole load more fans again tonight.
There is always a worry that a band that has only supported previously over here may struggle to pull of a headline show but like so many Southern boys before them they rocked it with ease and talking of Southern boys I wonder if this time of year is not that great back home as we have had a whole host of bands hit this town recently, Black Stone Cherry twice, Sons Of Texas showed how you reinvent the wheel and Soil made it clear that talent equals longevity. Glasgow sure does love a dash of Southern along with its Whiskey and This Whisky is quickly earning its place next to the 12 year old single malt.
On the same day of this gig the band also announced another full UK tour in May 2017 so I was a happy boy and roll on next year. The only way to keep those early morning shakes at bay is hair of the dog so keep the Whiskey coming.
Images and review Ritchie Birnie