Friday, December 6, 2013

Hugh Cornwell - Dot Dash -- Black Cat - Dec 5 2013

Dot Dash - I used to always recommend going to a Kahoutek show since you were guaranteed a great set along with a very special headline band as they were always on killer psychedelic rock bills. I can say the same with Dot Dash, although you will often get a great punk or post punk band as your reward. But you will never go wrong with a Dot Dash set or tonight, I guess we actually saw Do Das. When Wire lost a member, they became Wir, so as Dot Dash are named after a Wire song, tonight the three-piece band were Do Das. They were missing lead guitar which I didn't even notice was missing until the third song. While the extra moves are nice, you were still left with solid rhythm guitar riffing, even more noticeable and fully flexed bass runs, along with the usual powerhouse drumming anchor. The songs are still as good as ever with all the hooks and the strength from the three core members. This was 39 minutes well spent, yet again, as I never find anything bad to say or anything that distracts me from the pleasure of their music.
Hugh Cornwell - The backstage was only about half full or a tad more and maybe that is due to Mr. Cornwell's frequent visits to our fair city or perhaps the lack of having the name of his famous band, the Stranglers, on the billing. But not only will Hugh give you excellent Stranglers songs during the set, he has continued to forge ahead with his music that is clearly from that Stranglers style and even has a bit more flexibility. It is not exactly the same as he plays his guitar and sings in front of rhythm section sans keyboards. This particular band he has is really tough and gritty with plenty of skill in not just holding down the beat, but throwing a few body blows into the crowd. I like a lot of the solo songs with Stranglers cuts like "Hanging Around" and "Duchess" working their way in. The nearly hour set flew by as everything was so crisp and powerful. He came back for a long encore which only dragged a tad until a jumping "No More Heroes" closed things out after an hour, seventeen. There were some jazzy moves within the rock and solid vocal work throughout. He is still a guy to see for both old and new songs, which is not something you can say about people in their fifth decade of performing. The crowd was full of mostly punk veterans and sharp music fans (and even a London travel agent who knew nothing of Hugh Cornwell but was told the Black Cat was where it's at for rock'n'roll". Like me, they really dug the 2013 version of Hugh Cornwell.

Quote of the Night: Just a few funny quips from Hugh but this quick exchange got the laughs...
"Hey Hugh, play 'unheard strangles cut'"
"This isn't a request show, pal."

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