Friday, September 11, 2009

Hugh Cornwell/Dennis Kane - Black Cat - September 10 2009

Dennis Kane - It's a CD release party and we are all invited for the $12 cover at the backstage at the Black Cat. Dennis Kane plays electric guitar and sings with a drummer and another guitarist. It starts off as a perfectly decent indie rock set with just enough bite and some fair songs with catchy enough melodies. And as good bands generally do, they have me feeling better by the end of the set than at the beginning. Not off the charts, but a likable set, just a little hard to distinguish from the crowd. Good reception by the 40-50 present.

Hugh Cornwell - I last saw Cornwell with the Stranglers in November, 1980. I had pulled an all-nighter the previous night and had no sleep time. After the show, I nearly killed myself on the 50 minute drive back to Oxford as I was dying to fall asleep after 40 hours. But my memories of the show are very good, so it was obviously worth it. Hugh was looking a bit older (imagine that after 29 years) but in good shape with a younger rhythm section behind him. Even in the newer material, he had that jagged guitar style with the flowing bass lines running up and down the scale. It is still a good sound. The songs, like some of the Stranglers older material (including "Walk on By" a ripping Bacharach cover they used to do), sometimes got a little downer and dreary but in a numbing sort of way, not a strong negative. He did chip in some Stranglers and they closed (early I thought) with a ripping "No More Heroes". The 50-60 in the crowd gave them a strong ovation and they came back with a six song encore including "Peaches" and finishing with the full version of "Down in the Sewer". Very good set. I hadn't realized how much I missed this sound. Recommended while you can get it, although this may be it as it is his first tour in the US in ten years.

Quote of the Day: The opening band did the usual thanks to the headliner... "...happy to opening for Hugh Cornwell. We saw them in the soundcheck and they sounded great...". A perfectly nice quote from someone who wasn't born when I saw the Stranglers and probably had to be told who they were when told of the show. Nothing like feeling old and obscure or at least being reminded of it.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Thanks for the fairly warm reception, any press is good press... however, I've been listening to the Stranglers since Aural Sculpture came out in 1984/5. I've been a Stranglers fan ever since - which is why I wanted to do the gig. I'd love to meet you in person and chat Stranglers and other music - come out to our show at the Cat on 13, Jan 2010 - I'll even list you! We're playing with Greenland (a pretty decent DC band that I'm sure you know already). We'll be more properly practiced and I guarantee we'll distinguish oursleves from the pack!