The Graveltones - Bristol, Louisiana - 2nd September 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Richards   
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 03:00


In March of 2013 The Graveltones received their first smidgeon of UK national publicity when they had a track ('Catch Me On The Fly', I believe) featured on the cover mount CD with Classic Rock magazine. Within months they would record their sensational debut album, 'Don't Wait Down', a statement of intent for a furiously individual band determined to leave its mark.


As the months have rolled on the band have pretty much continued out on an exhaustive run of live shows around the UK and Europe, and tonight I was fortunate enough to catch a band still very much on the ascendancy, in a tiny room above a pub in Bristol, with every inch of floor space taken up by clued-in punters, and an air conditioning system that decided to pack up within minutes of the beginning of the band's set.


Having witnessed the full force of live Graveltones twice this year already, once in the uber cool Jazz Club in Camden, and once on top of a Welsh mountain at the Steelhouse Festival, I guess it was a great way to complete the hat-trick, and indeed it turned out to be every bit as special as any punter in attendance, no matter how short of breath they were, could have hoped.


Beginning with a banging 'Bang Bang' The GTs immediately set the small crowd alight (like we weren't hot enough already), hip twitching, head nodding; the sound they make really is irresistible to movement for the human limb, no matter that the average body temperature was already that of a lizard on an outback rock, the body just moves, quite instinctively. Talking about moving, there is certainly no need for the lovable Jimmy O to ever visit a gym, he repeatedly circuits the stage like an amphetamine fuelled expectant father, pacing, shaking, tearing off incredible licks in the most animated way imaginable. The playful, almost telepathic interplay between Jimmy and his sturdy partner Mikey is unquestionably the key factor in the success story of this band, though, Mikey sets 'em up for Jimmy to smash, and vice-versa, it's a joyous thing to witness indeed.




That camaraderie is never more obvious than on new song 'You Rascal You', a daring vocal performance undertaken with nothing more than Mikey's minimalist percussion as accompaniment. Originality, passion, and an intense ‘performance’ out front from Jimmy make it a true highlight of a top quality set, even if it is too much of a curve ball for (literally) two tipsy gig goers toward the back.


By the end of the seventy minute set Jimmy ends up playing from amongst his admiring audience while Mikey does his best to (seemingly effortlessly) destroy his drum skins, it's yet another full tilt performance from the quickest growing, and in my opinion, best new live band in the UK right now, there’s no ‘phoning it in’ for The Graveltones.


The end of the gig brings the consolation of filtering out of the room that is now pretty much devoid of oxygen but, hey, The Graveltones put in a shift and a half tonight….we all just stood there and basked in their talent and enthusiasm.


With a batch of great sounding new songs included in the set, and the promise of a new album to be recorded before the end of the year, then certainly the rise of The Graveltones is set to continue….hell, I even read somewhere recently that Planet Rock radio has finally ‘discovered’ the band, better late than never, eh?! Onwards Graveltones onwards, and until next time, thanks… yet again it's been a pleasure.


[Photo by Doug Bearne]


To visit The Graveltones store on Amazon - CLICK HERE