Saturday, December 06, 2008
kicked into the blue grass
The Coalporters @ Half Moon, Herne Hill, 5th December
This style of music isn't really my thing but the Coalporters, the "world's first alt-bluegrass band", are such great performers that you can't fail to warm to them. They have some brilliant players--particularly Dick Smith, apparently the only full-time professional banjo player in the UK, and Hana Loftus on fiddle--and Sid Griffin (mandolin) and Neil Robert Herd (guitar) are slick and enthusiastic front men.
Griffin, it says here, "displays many chapeaux in his career as a multi-faceted musician", first surfacing in the early eighties as a member of the Long Ryders, purveyors of musical fare more reliant on the sound of the electric guitar.
Tonight they sing a mix of compositions by Hern and Griffin (including this Long Ryders oldie) as well as renderings of "Teenage Kicks" and Ronnie Lane's "Ooh La La" in a bluegrass stylee. Very enjoyable they are too.
The behatted Henry Brothers--Stephen Merchant look-alike on guitar and a psychotically grinning Charlie Chaplin on what I discover is referred to as "doghouse bass"--offer support with their gruesome murder ballads.
Check out the 'Porters on that there youtube: