BigSound 2013 - Day One, Wednesday September 11
It’s to only a few that Mustered Courage play, an early slot from which there’s no escape for a young band, fresh from releasing a solid second effort, Powerlines, but not yet seasoned enough to command a place amongst the indie elite. Such things aren’t on the band’s collective mind however, and they play like no one is watching and all are watching, it makes no nevermind. Nu-grass, yes, but with a healthy nod to the bluegrass of old, along with a ragged (yet stylised) take on rootsy songwriting. They know how to do what it is they’re doing, but there’s a little something missing from their banjo-flecked tunes, their mandolin-driven grooves that will only come with experience, so a good start to be sure, with more to come, these four are on the right track.
Black Bear Lodge
Where before The Audreys waded happily along the more tender shores of ‘roots’ music (being rewarded handsomely for their efforts), tonight they strip off and step up to face off with whomever is slinging shit, and they win, a prize fighter of a band, deciding vigour is the better path to follow, their guitar scuzz their new watchword, down and dirty, Taasha Coates as sultry as is possible to be as her boys rumble and tear behind her, groaning, droning, jabs and stabs of electricity that feed the emotion they’ve always had in spades, but now it has balls and an attitude. Not that it was shy and retiring before, but now it’ll steal your woman, drain your schooner, pick your pocket and leave you for dead.
Money For Rope
Double beats and red hot heat, flailing limbs, arms akimbo when not, guitars raped and pillaged, it’d be a melee if not for the instruments, sweat stains shirts as rock ‘n’ roll is given new life, a second chance, a revival without anyone actually knowing that it needed resuscitating. They’re almost unrecognisable without one of the six being in some sort of plaster cast, but it matters not when two drummers thump and grind in time with whatever the fuck is happening out the front, something you’re not sure of but you’re damn well sure that you dig it. They veer sharply into Doors territory with alarming regularity, but veer out just as often, enough to have you thinking they’re on their own jag, and you’d be right – one of the best bands on the scene right now, make no mistake.
Samuel J. Fell