|Spin Doctors - Porth, The Factory - 26th January 2013|
|Written by Dave Prince|
|Saturday, 02 February 2013 04:00|
Since they first exploded onto the music scene 21 years ago with 'Pocketful Of Kryptonite' the Spin Doctors quickly established their music credibility through an ability to write truly hummable, memorable songs. The New York City quartet have racked up an impressive an six albums to date, the latest of which, ‘If The River Was Whiskey’ will be released later this year but for those of us lucky to be catching a live show limited edition copies are on sale during this very tour.
Rhondda hopefuls The Climbing Trees and one man-rocking storm Lach did a great job of warming the impressive sized crowd up tonight, and a special mention must go to the man who proposed to his girlfriend by handing Lach a note to read out to his intended. Feeling the pressure she obviously said, “Yes!”
Likewise also priding themselves on their ability to connect and groove with their fans (but maybe not propose to them), the Spin Doctors excellent choice of venue allowed them to do just that tonight. Dave Coaches lookalike frontman Chris Barron wasted no time in showing how flexible and groovy he and the band still are, with high kicks that would put David Lee Roth to shame, and the crowd immediately getting behind the multi million selling band. True, the crowd was a complete mix of groovy hipsters to ageing hippies and a good amount of Inbetweeners, but tonight The Factory in Porth was the place to be. Filled to the brim the atmosphere was chock-a-block of chilled out blues rock, as someone said to me after the show “ the Spin Doctors makes me feel like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.”
So after opening with 'What Time Is It?’ the band quickly settled into a groove with which the audience just felt at ease, knowing that we were witnessing something special. Next up was 'Nice Talking To Me' which had the front row singing the song back to the band and bassist Mark White even doing metal poses for fans with photographic capabilities. The band clearly having their finger on the pulse of their fans quickly played 'Little Miss Can't Be Wrong' early in the set, and as you can probably guess we just lapped it up. Even allowing for perhaps the lesser known songs of the band’s later albums the band and the crowd were just lost in the emotion and groove of the night.
Chris told the story of their last visit to Wales in which Mark (White, bassist) scared the wife of the owner of the venue they were playing in (who coincidently was also looking after them). As Mark said in his defence, "I'm just from Brooklyn, NYC." Even with some slight technical difficulties during 'Two Princes' the band still managed to keep the momentum up in the stratosphere. Yes even during the drum solo that “only a drummer would appreciate.” These wise words coming from my comedian/drummer friend Wes Packer.
When the band came back on for the encore of 'Sweetest Potion’, 'Yo Mama's A Pajama' and ‘Scotch & Water’ what you suddenly realised was that you’d just witnessed just under two hours of great music but suddenly the show was over.
Within minutes the merchandise table was swamped with fans chomping at the bit to get their grumby mitts on the new album, so much so that the queue was the length of the venue. The band duly came out and shook everyone's hand and had pictures with anyone who wanted them. Which considering how popular the band still are, is nothing short of amazing.
The quote of the night for me was when Chris Barron said, “Thanks for taking a punt on your old friends - the Spin Doctors.” So “thank you Chris” - the pleasures all ours.