Review: Vinny and The Curse / The Rivers Presley Set @ We Love Wednesdays


Vinny and The Curse / The Rivers Presley Set
We Love Wednesdays
The Bulls Head
24th February 2010

Vinny & The Curse

Wednesday night and that can only mean one thing – you got it: Bulls Head. It is a rare and wonderful place that can accommodate the impossibly cool types in impractical hats and uncomfortable shoes alongside middle aged blues lovers whilst making it all seem like a very usual affair.

For a promotions night that has consistently put on impressive yet varied lineups, its a bit of a disappointment in that there are only two bands on the bill tonight and considering they are both duos that means there are just four people performing tonight (yep, we at Blue Whale are all over maths).

First up is The Rivers Presley Set. With a moderately sized Fender amp and half a drum kit its difficult to know what to expect. Rivers Presley III steps up to the plate however wielding a semi acoustic guitar with the grin of a murderer and Thomas Henry slots in behind his kit; within seconds they are belting out such a huge noise it feels like all of the fairy lights that twinkle behind the black material that hangs from the ceiling have all burned out to give the impression that the bar that was once in the middle of Moseley has suddenly transformed into a saloon run on irresistible and tense blues.

It’s seedy, it’s lurid and it’s brilliant. Its only a matter of time before the Rivers we just saw shuffling his gear onto the stage is hissing and spitting like a deranged, intimidating hobo in a train carriage with his face covered by a shock of sandy blonde hair.

The Rivers Presley Set by A Hardwick

The Rivers Presley Set by A Hardwick

“There ain’t no devil, it’s just God when he’s drunk” leers Rivers in their impeccable cover of Tom Waits’ ‘Heartattack And Vine’. It is a lot easier to believe when you’re on the receiving end of such primitive and powerful blues which is set to the constant backdrop of Rivers’ sludgy tone that is muddier than the ol’ Mississippi and sheer head pounding from Tom behind the kit.

Just under forty minutes seems to fly by, and they disappear off the stage as quickly as they materialised. Stirring stuff indeed and presumably everyone heads straight to the bar to order double whiskeys to bridge the gap before the headlining act tonight.

Presenting themselves in fantastical form with capes, crazy moustaches and a telephone that works as a microphone: Its Vinny and The Curse! Filthy purveyors of two minute thrash rockabilly gems, both gents are experts at garagey blues with classic call and response hooks utilising all the guster Scott and Rich can muster as the former raises Hell and the latter simply has to keep it the whole mess together.

Scratchy guitars and simplicity over arsing around persist in keeping the room jumping and the use of the telephone as a microphone is a neat way of giving Scott’s vocals a retro edge in a live environment. Their agenda follows this basic but effective formula and although the crowd dwindles towards the end, the people that remain seem to be intoxicated by the dynamic duo. Similarly to The Rivers Presley Set, they finish up and disappear off into the night, or at least to start drinking and talking to people in two minute explosive bursts at a time.

So there we have it, We Love Wednesdays once again upholds its impeccable reputation tonight and with free entry every week, you’ve really got no excuses. See you on Wednesday!

Tim Mobbs

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