|Bob Log III/Thomas Truax - York, Fibbers - 23rd April 2014|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Thursday, 08 May 2014 03:00|
Okay, so it's been a busy week and I have to get up at 6am to drive down to Cambridge for work, but that ain't going to stop me sinking a few whiskeys and Red Stripes in honour of Bob Log III. This is the third time I have seen Bob here at Fibbers and it seems to be turning into an annual event. Unfortunately, the rest of York's gig-going public don't seem to share my enthusiasm as numbers are a bit thin on the ground tonight. I'm sad to say Bob's inflatable dinghy will not be seeing any crowd surfing action tonight, as it stays propped up at the back like some odd seaside backdrop, but that does not mean we cannot enjoy some fun tonight.
First up we have New Yorker Thomas Truax, another one man band with a difference. Thomas is an inventor and a storyteller as much as he is a musician and a performer. He performs with various weird and wonderful instruments and contraptions that he has made himself, they even have names. He has a drum machine called Mother Superior, made up of bicycle wheels, horns and cymbals, it's like some Steam Punk/Dr Seuss designed oddity that, as Thomas tells us, he has spent the day fixing as she "blew a gasket last night in Leeds."
As Mother Superior breaks down after several songs Thomas ventures into the crowd with his resonator guitar for the first of many times to perform 'off mic' in the middle of the room. 'Full Moon Over Wow Town' is a song about Wow Town, an imaginary place of Thomas' own creation (or is it?) where his characters and song themes originate. It lights the room up, he even projects a moon from his guitar up on to the ceiling. We laugh, we watch, we listen and we are enraptured.
Musically his songs veer from Primus weirdness to Spaghetti Western inspired pretty ditties and onto David Lynch inspired madness. As he performs final song 'Beehive Heart' with the lights turned down real low, he wears a pair of spectacles with whirly, LED lights spinning round, multicoloured catherine wheel glasses, the sort of thing you see on bonfire night. With the low hum from The Hornicator sounding not too far from a didgeridoo, I am left feeling this guy would be so good in a tent at Glasto at 2am.
Thomas's performance is mesmerising, artistic, truly original and lots of fun and I have never seen anything quite like it.
Warning: Watching a Thomas Truax show may make you feel like you are on drugs, really good drugs and if it does not then you should probably ask for your money back.
There are not many men who could follow an act like that, but Bob Log III is more than just any man. What more can I say about Bob Log that I have not already said? A cannonball suited enigma who plays dirty, raw slide guitar like a man possessed, singing through a telephone receiver glued to a sparkly crash helmet, who is the mystery man? Armed his faithful battered guitar, a kick drum and a bunch of pedals Bob, tonight dressed in a rather smart maroon velvet jumpsuit, wows the crowd with his set.
Bob's request for liquid refreshment is hastily met as three double whiskeys appear at the front of the stage, bought by helpful punters. Of course he can't actually see the drinks or the buyers with his helmet on, so there is much shouting and pointing before the drinks are in his hands.
The great thing about Bob Log is that you don't actually have to be a fan of his music to enjoy and be entertained. In fact you would have to be downright miserable to not enjoy a Bob Log show. His lyrics are funny, his bobble-headed antics are funny and his jokes and stories told in his drunken, southern drawl are great. Whether it's Rock, Soul or the Blues or just damn fine music that floats your boat it doesn't really matter, Bob will surely get your foot tapping and your face smiling.
Chicken scratch guitar songs that are about absolutely nothing at all such as the great 'Bump Pow!' on to such awesomeness as 'String On A Stick', to getting pretty and usually drunk girls to sit on his knee for 'I Want Your Shit On My Knee'.
I knew what to expect and Bob does not disappoint, but is it possible that Thomas Truax and his mad creations just maybe slightly overshadowed the cannonball suited headliner tonight and stole the show? I think it's more likely the fact that Thomas Truax was something I was not expecting which is always a bonus. Two truly original artists in one night, we have been spoiled. Shame on you gig-goers who stayed away, you missed something special.
It must be great to be part of a one man band show like this, touring the world, with no band members or roadies to worry about. I would love to know what they are touring in, these perfect touring partners, I imagine some Dr Seuss inspired vehicle or an old American ambulance, but the reality is probably a lot more practical and boring which is nothing like either of them at a show.
It's always fun and until the next time it's sure as hell been a pleasure.
Pics of Thomas Truax and The Mother Superior by Matt Seddon ;)