Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys, Kelly's, Galway, 29/06/12

Man, what a gig!

I've just come in the door from the most raucous and raw rock 'n'roll gig I've been to in a long time. Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys absolutely tore it up tonight. I'm a very recent convert to this guy's work, so most of the songs I heard were unfamiliar - but they were so well played, so assured, that I'm mad to hear them again.

Escovedo led his band through a set that took in all the vistas that loud guitar music has to offer. Hey, pull over! It's the blues! Look out the window, it's punk. Stop the car, it's....(screech this)... rawwwwwwwwk 'n' rollllllll!

Lyrics that spoke of heartworn highways, lives lived - but I can't quote them 'cos, like I said, I've just heard them. But they'll be living in my headphones tomorrow. A highpoint of the set (though the show was a series of consecutive ones) came when Alejandro played Sensitive Boys, a song he wrote for his brother. This melancholic tune held the room, and then Escovedo tore into a ripping number that most have put the drumkit in danger. It was the hallmark of a player who understands the dynamic of a gig - you can see why Springsteen is a fan.

Alejandro invited two members from support band The Mighty Stef (who played a great show) to join The Sensitive Boys for a run through Waiting For My Man. With The Velvet Underground acknowledged, they then launched into The Stones' Beast Of Burden. Escovedo was tipping his hat to the music that inspires him, but this was no nostalgic finale.

Rock 'n' roll is a pure, visceral thing, where the glorious din of the present trumps the past. Every time. Turn it up, Alejandro. Long may you run.

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