Tuesday, 2 September 2014

15/6/2012 Cars Like Sharks & 4 Wheel Drive @ Big Red

SubjectCars Like Sharks & 4 Wheel Drive @ Big Red
DateCreated6/21/2012 3:33:00 PM

Friday night finds me down Holloway Road to see a couple of bands. Big Red is free to get in even when there are bands on, is open til late, and has a reasonably priced bar - it's all good.
The main reason I'm here is to see Cars Like Sharks. 

This lot feature members of CavilryThe Roolettes and Dirty Fingernails and they rock as hard as any of those bands.

This is the third time I've seen this newish band and this was their best performance yet. It was particularly good to see them playing to loads of people instead of a handful at small club shows. I suspect hardly anyone in Big Red knew who they were (although they might recognise them as regulars at this watering hole) but they seemed to go down really well.

Dirty sweaty rock 'n' roll stripped down to it's most basic level - what more could you want on a Friday night? Considering this isn't a dedicated music venue the sound was surprisingly good. As a stage has recently been installed maybe nights like this will more more of a regular thing now?

The other band on tonight is 4 Wheel Drive. I've not seen this band before but had heard good things and been looking forward to checking them out. They are playing two sets - the first being a hard rock covers set - loads of AC/DC, Led Zep, Thin Lizzy and the like. No ballads, no slow songs - just 100% rocking stuff.

This is exactly what I want on a Friday night. Not just a great setlist, but 4WD are a really good band - far better than your normal rock covers outfit. No poncing about with effects pedals, etc - just plug the guitars in and turn them up LOUD. No 1980's throwback image - just like AC/DC and Airbourne they don't really have an image and they just let the music do the talking - and this band are good enough to make that work. This is how rock 'n' roll should be played.

As well as being excellent musicians, this lot also have one or two other tricks up their sleeves. It's not unusual to see a guitarist equipped with a radio system to let him roam around the room, and I've seen quite a few climb up on the bar and play from there - but I've never seen a guitarist go behind the bar and pour himself a pint in mid-song!

It's also unusual to a band with two radio equipped guitarists - and they are both using the bar as a stage.

4 Wheel Drive are probably the most entertaining hard rock covers band I've ever seen, but there is more to them than that. After playing a cover set and taking a break they return to play a set of their own songs. And they aren't bad songs either, although it has to be said that there isn't anything remotely original on offer - even playing their own songs they sound like a cover band! Anyone remember Hurricane Party before they became Roadstar?

I have to get up earlyish (by my standards) on Saturday to get stuff done before a family event in the afternoon, so for once I am sensible and leave around midnight - still having 30 or 40 minutes to spare before the last tube. What could go wrong? The train to Cockfosters doesn't make it any further than Arnos Grove - due to cable theft at Oakwood.

Couldn't the fuckers have at least waited until the last tube had run before half-inching the cable? I hope the bastards electrocuted themselves.

I have to get a Night Bus the rest of the way home - as do trainloads of other poor people - the tossers who nicked the cable couldn't give a shit.

The bus is packed, and what should have been a 40 minute or so journey home takes about two hours. I'm not best pleased.

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