Saturday, December 4, 2010

Concert Review: NQ Arbuckle with the Warped 45s, Horseshoe Tavern, Dec. 2

I was in dire need of a rock and roll soul cleanse, so I headed out to the Horseshoe last night to catch a few of my favorite locals acts. I had a late conference call, so I missed opener The Matthews Brothers, but made it just as The Warped 45s started their set. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Horseshoe was at about three-quarters capacity. Lots of fans out to support the local acts, plus a bunch of grumpy Leafs fans, with a few noticeably double fisting bottles of beer.

The Warped 45s played a 50 minute set which leaned heavily on new material. They announced that they will soon be recording their follow-up to their 2009 debut, 10 Day Poem for Saskatchewan. The new songs sounded great. One was about bootlegging liquor to Dee-troit via Windsor during Prohibition in the US. Another, called "Live Bait," was a a rocking little number about a down-on-his-luck man selling bait to get buy. Between the storytelling and the amped up guitars, I could really hear the Drive-By Truckers influence in their new material. I'm looking very forward to the new release.

Why Have You Passed Me By Grim Reaper.mp3
Buy (Amazon): 10 Day Poem for Saskatchewan (2009)
Buy (Maple Music): 10 Day Poem for Saskatchewan (2009)

Neville Quinlan stumbled onto the stage in his perpetual blond bed-head, wearing bright red corduroy pants, and carrying four bottles of Blue. This is a dude who doesn't fuck around when it comes to drinking and rocking. NQ Arbuckle played for about an hour and a half, playing a set very similar to the one they played at the Dakota Tavern back in September, with only one cover ("Atlantic City"), and the addition of a keyboard player (Jason something? I was drinking). The addition of keyboards really filled out the sound of the band. I can't wait to hear more from the keyboard player.

Quinlan is so awesomely goofy on stage. You can sort of see the rest of the band members thinking, "I hope he doesn't embarrass us too badly tonight." But I suspect the band is used to various high jinx. Regardless, they sounded fantastic, playing tracks spanning all three of their studio releases plus a few off of their wonderful 2009 collaboration with Carolyn Mark. I didn't take a set list because I was busy drinking, but they played all of my favorites including "I Liked You Right from the Start," "In Another Time," "I Can See The Moon," "Downtime," "Don't Remember Me," and "Goodnight Irene On New Years Eve."

I can't remember during which song, but somewhere along the way Quinlan incorporated lyrics from New Order's "Temptation" into one of his songs, which completely freaked me out. In a good way. I had flashbacks to listening to Substance on my Sony Walkman when I was in high school. I also wondered how many people in the audience caught the reference. Not many, I imagine. I'm old.

Quinlan mentioned that they will soon be touring Japan and Italy. I can't find any official info on these tours, but here's to hoping that Italians and Japanese speak the universal language of killer drunken bar band.

Don't Remember Me.mp3
Buy (Amazon): XOK (2008)
Buy (Maple Music): XOK (2008)

Buy (Amazon): Let's Just Stay Here (2009)
Buy (Maple Music): Let's Just Stay Here (2009)

I was looking for some NQ Arbuckle vids on Youtube, and came across this one posted by their label Six Shooter. That's Justin Rutledge and Royal Wood (on keyboards) to Quinlan's right (your left), and Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland on Quinlan's left.

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