The Sadies, The Jumping Hot Club at The Cluny, Newcastle, England 6th Dec 2010
The Legendary Jumpin’ Hot Club of Newcastle celebrated its 25th Anniversary in style with a blistering double header featuring Toronto’s finest exponents of Psychedelic induced Country Rock, the Sadies.
As soon as the unfeasibly tall Good brothers entered the stage wearing garish baby blue Nudie suits and carrying blood red guitars, I instantly regretted never having seen the Sadies play live previously. All I could think of during the first couple of hundred-miles-an-hour country-tinged rock tunes, was that Hank would be mighty proud of these boys. As a new found convert to the Sadies music I didn’t know the titles of the first two instrumentals which sounded like Link Wray playing the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies and the second could have been the soundtrack to an Imaginary Western film.
I did catch the introduction to “Strange Birds,” which was a co-write with the mighty Jon Langford and certainly had his trademark punk-cowpoke twang to it.
There was no time to catch your breath between songs as “Another Day Again” blended in to “Palace of Hope,” which morphed into another Gretsch-powered instrumental.
By now, the bar was empty and the audience were tapping their feet and even threatening to boogie; but mercifully pulled back at the last minute.
Highlight of the evening was when Travis Good put down his big red Gretsch guitar and picked up a fiddle. Normally I would run a million miles from a Country fiddle player but, during “Higher Power,” he gave Charlie Daniels a run for his money. He made smoke come from the strings when the bow shot over them while Dallas’ tried to keep pace on his trusty Stratocaster.
During “West Spring Circus,” the brothers showed off their dexterity by standing side by side and sliding hands through arms until they were actually playing each others guitars – I was mightily impressed.
A couple more songs from latest album Dark Circles and the band left the stage to a chorus of yelps, howls and some serious foot stomping from the sweaty packed crowd and the noise was rewarded with a five song encore; including a breakneck 45 second version of “16 Mile Creek”!
The evening came to a perfect end as the guys serenaded us with a 5 minute ‘freak out’ version of “A House is Not a Hotel” from Forever Changes by Love.
This was a fantastic night of what can genuinely be described as Alternative Country Music.