Bootleg Sessions

Bootleg Sessions @ The Phoenix. Monday 24th August, 2009
by Bic Parker, Special Correspondent

The Phoenix has a d├ęcor much like Steptoe and Sons’ lounge room, with lounge chairs, entertainment area, as well as a bar. It makes for a cosy little retreat.

The Bootlegs at the Phoenix in full flight is a sight to behold. And tonight was one of those nights with one of the best line-ups I have encountered. Rachel, the M.C. kicks this evening off promptly at eight o’clock, introducing Mister Greg Carlin – A man and his guitar, interesting lyrics and a nice opener to break the ice and get everyone in the mood. Not that they needed much prompting.

I was ready for more and I was intrigued to see the next act setting up slide guitar, acoustic slide, steel slide, and banjo, hi-hat, tamborine, kick drum. There was a sound check, next thing, this gentleman starts ripping the place apart with some very pure bluegrass and classic blues, with reference to blues men of the past and present. His name was the Amazing (and he was) Brainboy. His style dictated an almost manic, frenzied beat. Did I mention he played a mean harmonica as well! I looked around the room and could not see anyone who was not digging this seriously committed musician. Before to long it was over he had been playing for fifty minutes. I did not notice, I was so involved.

The third act in this night of nights Blue Ruins, a duet, him on electric guitar, her on drum and drum pad as well as singing and playing the guitar (acoustic) upside down just like Jimi H. They played a cover of Sweet Home Chicago and a whole mess of original stuff which definitely had the edge. They had plenty to watch as clever drumming and fret work added to the pleasant feelings I was having about the Phoenix on Monday nights.

As luck would have it the last band, a threesome, plugged in with a full drum kit, bass and lead guitar. The Feldons. They turned it up a notch with their own paparazzi and a good mix of blues rock. As I was situated right below the speakers, I found the sound a bit loud, but aside from that I had no complaints. A thoroughly groovy night.

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