Nice venue, just like a gypsy caravan or Ali Baba's cave. But where were the good people of this fair city to catch a great set of rock 'n' roll played by a fantastic band on top of their game and armed with a busload of top tunes? Anyway...
First up were hard rockers The Infamous with their brand of heavy GN'R style rock/metal. They can obviously play but their brief set tended to pass by without much light or shade or any real breath in the songs as the busy arrangements tended to blend each song into the next. They bounced around the stage like they were having a ball and the enthusiasm for what they do is fine but the music did leave me a little underwhelmed with so much going on in the songs. Maybe they'll sound different on cd and either my ears or the mix was to blame?
Next up were Melodramas with their brand of alt rock. I began to fear for the worst when I saw a keyboard plonked centre stage but, in fairness, they had some pretty decent tunes and a variety in the delivery which was good and, as the set went on, the songs got better as you felt drawn into them with penultimate track 'Kids' being particularly good and catchy with an endearing energy about the band. Live they came across as a little bit of The Strokes meets, dare I say it, The Killers, but with a bit of an edge. I enjoyed the set and they definitely reeled the audience in. There was definitely something about the Melodramas.
Finally Mr Conte takes the stage with the Crazy Truth and they get straight on with business playing pretty much all of the awesome debut album. Mr Conte shows he's not just a mighty fine axeman for the Dolls or Michael Monroe but a pretty decent singer/songwriter and, on tonight's evidence, an excellent frontman to boot. With a tight little unit providing the foundation for some wicked fret work, songs like 'Gypsy Cab', 'Texas T' and 'This Is The End' sound as good as they did on the record. A version of 'Summertime Blues' opened with a slow bloozy smokey intro before breaking out into a more familiar tempo before returning to the more mellow moments which showed that a live rock 'n' roll show doesn't have to be full throttle all the time. Some light and shade is an impressive quality and not something often taken on board by bands but The Crazy Truth understand what it takes to make great, great music and the delivery is perfect. I say all the time that rock 'n' roll isn't rocket science and sometimes something as simple as one guitar, bass and minimal drum set up can deliver such a beautiful noise and tonight was proof of just that.
Highlights were the blindingly good version of 'Busload Of Hope' and 'Indie Girl' - with added lines from 'Home' by Iggy Pop and 'LA Woman' by The Doors - before the night ended with 'Pills' and the small stage being filled with the support band as they helped rock this baby home.
So a thoroughly enjoyable set and another Über-cool night out watching champions league quality rock 'n' roll. Promising a return later in the year, make sure you don't let Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth pass you by because any true rock 'n' roller worth his stripes knows it'll be the only place to be. Cool band, cool performance, cool songs! Fact!
Photo kudos to Claire Tidey