Friday, April 28, 2017

Table Scraps & Black Mekon Split 7" Single Launch! (Live at the Hare and hounds review, 27/4/17)

Since the whole 'B-town' thing fell through it feels more like the Birmingham scene has splintered into a few separate scenes. Where Grime, Hip-hop, Grunge, Jazz, Pop-Punk, Metal and Rock all co-exist but rarely come into contact with each other. My favourite of these 'mini scenes' is the tiny garage rock revival that has spawned Table scraps and Black Mekon. Who've just released a split 7" as part of Black Mekon's ongoing 45 consortium project. It was inevitable, as the two bands already share a lock up and live on the same street. The single comes with it's own pair of 3D glasses to view the cover, and the new Table Scraps 3D video (clever marketing that). The stage was projected upon with 3D graphics and lit in red and green.
As I may have pointed out before, Black Mekon (8/10) are about as cool as it gets. 3 dudes in sharp suits and Kato masks playing the blues raw and dirty. Black Mekon have no bassist, only two guitars, but make up with it by frequently blasting out harmonica solos like the bastard child of Elvis Presely and Bob Dylan, and using their own special drum cymbal, which has been named 'The Bomb'. As I've come to expect from a band who only release music on spilt 7"s, Black Mekon's set was full of short sharp blasts of rock 'n roll which rarely last over two minutes. Of all the times I've see them, this show was probably the best. Some highlights of their set were their guitarist jumping about in the crowd while the other guy blasted his harmonica, and the last song, marked on the set-list as "CUNT".  A slower ballad where their singer dropped to his knees and pleaded forgiveness from the woman he had wronged.
Table Scraps (8) have changed a lot since I last saw them. No longer a scrappy punk duo, they've evolved into a swaggering rock' n roll trio. Poppy Twist now has a full drum kit (as well as an art installation at the Waterhall Gallery, but that's not strictly relevant). Scott has upgraded to a 12 string guitar, and Table scraps now have a bass player named TJ (who at one point jumped into the crowd). They've also got a new Theremin, which TJ can use while playing his bass. Table Scraps have gotten bigger and better. Scott in particular has improved hugely as both a guitarist and singer. A lot of the songs now come new and improved with guitar solos and he no  longer screams until he's out of breath. They even felt confident enough to incorporate parts of Led Zeppelin's 'Communication Breakdown' into their own already great 'Motorcycle (straight to hell). Few of the songs on the set-list were from Table scraps d├ębut album 'more time for strangers', yet the new songs are all equally as strong as older fan favourites such as the set's opener 'Electricity'. Despite this show only having two bands and short sets, both bands delivered in spades, and showed why brum's garage rock revival is worth caring about.


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