The Black Keys/Lady Strangelove/19/06/08
The Black Keys and Lady Strangelove
Thursday night I ventured out to the cold streets of Melbourne (shit it’s been cold lately!) for a night of crazy psych rock and good ol’ dirty blues. The night started trying to sell a ticket at the front of the venue after a late pullout, which isn’t the best way to start your night. I had a deadline to sell it by, as I was super keen to check out Lady Strangelove. Luckily we found a guy (selling it cheaper felt dirty) and we walked into the new Palace (formerly the Metro).
Adelaide’s Lady Strangelove was up straight away, and I was totally captured by their brutal assault of psychedelic blues. They were all over the shop, with only the bass player keeping a solid groove throughout, but it suited their unpredictability and spontaneous jamming, with the guitarist and lead singer going berserk across the stage. Guitarist Josh Van Looy, was a splitting image of Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones circa 1971 and it wasn’t only his look he was emulating. Whether it was straight up chunky Led Zeppelin riffs or total freak out Mars Volta solo’s, the guy can definitely play.
Lead singer Brenny Shaw kept the theme of the 70’s sound with his best Robert Plant howl and summed up the band when he announced 10 minutes into their set by saying “ This is our last song, but don’t worry it goes for 20 minutes”. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.
After witnessing the giant tyre blowing up as the backdrop of the black keys stage, representing Akron, Ohio, it was time to get down and dirty with the bluesome twosome.
First up was a selection from the Back Keys back catalogue. Representing the albums Thickfreakness and the Rubber Factory was a one two punch of “Girl is on My Mind” and “Set You Free”. With minimal banter in between they launched into “10am Automatic” and “Thickfreakness”. By now the crowd was won over already by the Keys feel good tunes, and by the time it reached them playing songs from the new album “Attack and Release” the Melbourne audience had already lapped up everything they served.
A few prolonged extended jams with crowd favourites “Busted” and “Stack shot Billy” demonstrated just how amazingly tight the two piece are as well as showcasing the talent of Dan Auerbach’s finger picking guitar skills. A cover of a Captain Beefheart song gave the crowd a glimpse into Auerbach’s soulful voice, with the strong lights also showcasing the impressive beard the man has grown. This isn’t just any ordinary beard; I mean you could get lost in it! Patrick Carney deserves mention for his work behind the drum kit. It never ceases to amaze me the power that is generated from such a skinny man. Carney’s hard pounding and endless energy drives each bluesy number.
A quick break after the entertainment of a crazy guy that jumped into the giant tyre and they were back for more tracks off the new album.
A huge response from the crowd as the duo left the building demonstrated just how much love Australia has for the band. Listening to the warm fuzzy blues of the Black Keys was a perfect way to spend a cold Melbourne night.