OK, I don’t often go on about the gigs I go to much, except to say whether I enjoyed them or not. I’m going to make an exception because I saw a band last night who really deserve as much publicity as they can get.
The aforementioned Hayseed Dixie are a 4-piece playing predominantly cover versions. They’re a bunch of hard-drinkin’, cousin-shaggin’ rednecks from the backwaters of the Southern States of the US, and by hell are they good live. They’re one of those bands that you can tell just live for live music.
You may well have heard them on the radio in the UK where they’re getting a fair bit of airplay for the novelty value of a blue grass country band playing covers of classic rock tracks. At present, they’ve got one album out which is all AC/DC covers, another which is all KISS, and two more (one in the US, one in Europe) which are a mixture along with other bands and some original material.
Some of the songs come off better than others, but there’s no denying how damn good they are. The lead singer plays acoustic guitar and fiddle, there’s an electric bass, one banjo and a mandolin. No percussion (other than some tiny thumb cymbals taking the place of the opening tolling on Hell’s Bells) which is surprising, but you just don’t notice.
Given that I’ve downloaded virtually everything by them, and could buy the albums for less online, I felt completely obliged to pick up at least one CD after the gig. The band proceeded to sign anything and everything thrust at them. My only disappointment was that there were no t-shirts available. It’s the first gig I’ve been to in years where I’d actually have quite happily forked out for one.
This is their second trip to the UK in 3 months or so, and they’re hoping to be back over in July – with any luck playing some festivals. The venue last night was damn small and absolutely crammed, but the atmosphere was fantastic. Halfway through the first song, they had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Covers ranged from AC/DC’s Big Balls to Sabbath’s War Pigs via Spinal Tap’s Big Bottom and Motörhead’s classic Ace of Spades. Then onto their own Keepin’ Your Poop in a Jar plus a new one (guaranteed to bar the next album from Wal-Mart’s shelves) I’d Be You So I Could Fuck Me, they were pretty non-stop for 2 hours.
I will definitely be going to see them again if I get the chance. Take the time out, download an MP3 or two and if you like them go see them, too. They even actively encourage people to make their own live recordings of the shows!