Full Moon Fever @ McGregor Hall, Sat 26th June, 2010
by J. James Montgomery Fahy. Pics by Richard Barker (more pics here)

An eclipse will presage oddities and wonder on the most quotidian of winter nights. Full Moon Fever gripped the brows of a hundred people at MacGregor Hall, and the unusual was unleashed from the very first act. Remarkable for their hats alone, Gravy Tram filled the hall with rocking guitar and ironing board beats, their vocals intertwining pleasingly. Listening to their EP after the gig sets the air alight with unusual song structures and constant melody, trading off chilled lead guitar with twinned boy and girl vocals – the lyrics alone were worth the purchase of the EP, a presage to the complete album that we are eagerly expecting from these guys, though starting with exhortations for the audience not to listen is an interesting editorial decision.

Gravy Tram

Jason Recliner are finding their feet with their new line-up: the contrabass and shuffleskins are obviously the perfect additions to the swinging, rocking, danceable, listenable and sweetly tragicomic music. Momentary droppings of the beat were handily scraped into audience-roarers by charismatic frontman “Japanese” Jeff”u” “Thomboy” Thompson, and the howls of the audience had your correspondent checking for werewolves. Luckily, it was actually the crowd being extremely pleased by the music. They remained more-or-less human, despite the scowling and magnificently portraited Lunar backdrop.

Jason Recliner

Everyone in town knows that One Foot in the Gravy can groove, but the way Cam wields his organ over the locked-in pulse of the rhythm section made your humble narrator feel as if restraining himself to one foot was a little beyond his control. A combination of dream-lyricism and tight band-work like this deserves a recording, post-haste. The barfolk bounced while they served, the patrons polka’d while they drank, and I spied the lone wolf working the door outlaying some embraces in a surge of fellow feeling. Such was the magic.

One Foot in the Gravy

The glowing audience was served their fill by new 64th-dealing-swigger-swagger-rock-and-roll-deliverers the “!”!”!”!”!!”. The lead guitarist got a go on the mike, the drummer got to sit firmly on the beat, and the volume knob took a leap eclipseward. Thrusting as the finishers were, your correspondent harboured thoughts of a fridge – in a small space, your beers get ice-cold, but open the door to a big kitchen and your cheese is no longer safe. The chill doesn’t travel far; in a contained space these guys would have iced us over with their cool, but with this much space to fill the greens wilted a little. Gigs under the stairs, in between bumpers in peak hour traffic, in the band Tarago on trips to long-distance gigs, or in an elevator are recommended for these guys to really push the envelope of our rocked socks.

Standing Waves

Full Moon Fever was admirably free of lycanthropic trouble, and the crowd wore their thumbs-ups on their faces for the whole night. Mulled wine by the fire and fantastic music, happy barfolk and some really interesting bands: let’s hope McGregor makes it to the next eclipse…

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