Sunday January 21st 2018

Watts / Diablogato / Duck & Cover


Watts / Diablogato / Duck & Cover
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA     12/2/17


I thought I would be here with plenty of time to catch the first band, A Bunch Of Jerks. If nothing else they have a name that would suit the offices of Thrash N Bang, though we’ve been called quite worse. But as I approached Forest Hills Station and was diverted on a detour that took me maybe a mile or more away, and then when I circled back toward my destination, I found out the whole area was under construction and had to backtrack from there. Anyways, I missed them.

But I did see Duck & Cover a band that plays tuneful, melodic punk with a lot of nods to conventional rock music. That last part of the sentence would tend to eliminate them from bands we cover- but what they do have is an excellent, swinging rhythm section that propels them into the sacred realm of rock’n’roll, that too few bands make passage to. In the mainstream that would be The Rolling Stones, AC/DC and possibly, Motorhead.

A lot of AC/DC swagger in the vocals, a lot of rock’n’roll in the dual guitars and a lot of sweat and guts and truth shine through in this potent punk’n’roll endeavor. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the best current band that captures the sound of eighties Boston punk, most precisely.

And if that doesn’t sound great to you, it sure sounds great to me. You can play your Led Zep records backwards for your satanic messages but I like rock’n’roll which is in the essence of punk, and is really all fruit off the same tree to me.

The second song of their great set is one of my favorites, “How Low Can You Go,” and there’s a Cheap Trick cover in there- “Way Of The World.” But my favorite part is their second to last song, from their last release, “Out Alive.”

Diablogato is the next band, and did I mention there’s quite a big turnout for tonight’s show? Well, this band is the type of band that we wouldn’t normally cover, because they’re too roots based, but for my own personal tastes they fit in well. They have upright bass, a baritone sax- the most typical sax is a tenor, it plays in a higher range- which is cool, but the baritone has that low, growling sexy tone that puts a lot of grit and balls into the music.

So their sound has a lot of swing, blues, rockabilly, forties/fifties rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll which leads down the pathway towards punk. And the most joyous, fun music I’ve ever heard is pre-rock’n’roll rhythm and blues- so I enjoy their music greatly.

And Diablogato are red evil cats that express this music wildly. “She Just Wants To Rock’N’Roll” is a song that stands out to me, tonight, and hanging with the drummer from Stop Calling Me, Frank- another band that Andy and I used to follow in the eighties, and has a lot of the same influences as these guys, we both can not only relate but enjoy their awesome set.

The two derelict D’s are working the door and sound tonight, the two most dangerous detours that can lead you out from life. (That and the Forest Hills detour). No, it’s not drink and drugs but Dylan and Derek, the demonstrative demons, indeed.

Actually, cool dudes and they alert me to the next band, Watts, having an AC/DC fixation, but I figure that’s not a bad addiction to succumb to.

The first song starts with a low, repetitive, AC/DC sounding blues riff that leads to a great song called “Black Heart Of Rock’N’Roll.” Everyone in the band sings lead, except the drummer, and one of the guys has a high, rockin’ voice that reminds me of Noddy Holder of Slade, high praise, indeed. And I really like a fifties laced song called “All Done With Rock’n’Roll,”- gee, how many times do I have to print rock’n’roll in this piece?

Then they have Lee Harrington, who was the bassist for The Neighborhoods, come up and sing along with the classic rock Xmas song “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.

And they keep the club rockin’, while the Jameson is flowing down my throat, with an excellent AC/DC cover “Rock’N’Roll Damnation,”-damn, I hope that’s the last one.

I congratulate Jill, the bartenderess, on her recent one year sobriety, I really think it’s great for anyone to do that. I say to her, “Are you gonna congratulate me?” “What for,” she asks. “Forty years drunk,” I say and follow that with, “I’m an asshole,” though she’s laughing.

Not sure if this was really a punk night but it was certainly one that encapsulated the phrase that I’m too tuckered out to type again. How about a fun night with some great music, see, that wasn’t so bad to say.


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