Heavy Trash - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Heavy Trash - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:2011-11-30

New York City resident Jon Spencer is no stranger to rock ‘n’ roll. Forming the wonderful and mildly terrifying Pussy Galore back in 1985 before moving on to the groovy, punk-blues of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in the early 90s. You really can’t think of that band without imagining Spencer running around a stage, repeatedly screaming some variation on his manic-mantra: “Blues explosion! Number one! Yeah!” 

Seemingly not getting enough from simply being in one awesome band at a time, Spencer formed rockabilly hell-raisers Heavy Trash around 2005, who have released three albums, the last being 2009's Midnight Soul Serenade. With no new material that I’m aware of it’s a great surprise to see the band back on tour. Plus, any chance to see Spencer let loose on a stage has got to be worth a look, right?

Before Heavy Trash we’re treated to a set from Canadian one-man band, Bloodshot Bill. An excited, at times indecipherable wail leads us through a set of rockabilly, blues and even a dash of country. Barefoot and accompanying himself on a small drumkit, Bloodshot’s set is a deliriously energetic take on all things rock ‘n’ roll.

Between songs, Bloodshot is chatty and charismatic, getting the whole room on side for a bout of communal singing at one point. Bloodshot’s guitar skills are wild, fiery and instinctive, imbued with the magic of a thousand obscure 45s. The Cramps would certainly approve.

The whole night is immersed in 50s rock ‘n’ roll vibes, and Heavy Trash certainly look the part. Founding members Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray are decked out in sharp shoes and jackets, while Bloodshot Bill (joining the band on double-bass) has enough hair grease to make Danny Zuko envious. The whole look is completed by a drummer who looks like he’s just stepped out of some late-night jazz café in New York (which may not actually be far from the truth).

It’s all very well looking the part but this obviously wouldn’t mean much without the music to back it up. Thankfully and predictably, considering the bands live reputation, Heavy Trash is an absolute riot from the start. Spencer leads the charge; throwing himself into every sweat-soaked moment of the band's electrifying set.

The band is an impressively tight unit, swopping instruments and taking turns with lead vocals. We’re indulged in an immaculately intoxicated blend of garage punk, rockabilly and plain old, reliable rock ‘n’ roll.

While all this retro-chic would perhaps seem somewhat affected in the hands of a lesser outfit, Heavy Trash carry the whole thing off with a natural confidence and style. More importantly, there’s a genuine love and appreciation of the craft here. Spencer comes over like some Gene Vincent-Lux Interior hybrid as he preaches the gospel of rock ‘n’ roll to each and every attentive face in the audience.

There are more than a few evangelical yells from Spencer, culminating in a joyous call and response section with the crowd. By this point, I’ve made my way to the front and it’s impossible not to grin as they launch into a frantic, toe-tapping rendition of ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’. Rock ‘n’ roll is far from dead, ladies and gentlemen.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles