Bones Shake

Bones Shake


As I’m walking towards The Castle, I blame the atmospheric pressure and this thick humidity for feeling so worn out, but as soon as I enter the tiny room for gigs of this cosy pub all the (environ)mental haze goes away at a stroke. “From the bowels of Scotland”, Thee Rag N Bone Man and his “one man band brutal trash blues” beats forcefully every sign of atmospheric hangover. To be fair, the rockabilly audience also helps clearing the head as they explode little petards against the floor. It doesn’t seem there’s any particular reason for this firecracker party, but they are enjoying it quite a bit.

Before Mancunians Bones Shake show up, New York Wannabes duo from Frankfurt performs a convincing garage psychobilly set; while the handsome X Ray Cat Trio, from Leeds, give us a good sample of smooth surf rock and rockabilly.

By the way, long live Abattoir Blues Records for this evening, and long live as well the filthy rug of The Castle’s stage that buffers the thunderous drums! Dusty rock to call the storm that is yet to come, hell yeah!

Lead singer David J. Brennan’s particular soundcheck starts and ends with a roar from the guts to his micro. Along with Andy Sheffield (guitar) and David Sheffield (drums), they are introducing their latest album, ‘Kicks’.

They open with ‘Flying The Flag’. “Come on! Come on!”, the singer shouts forceful, with an after death –or maybe just sleepless-night-like voice, in a continuous reverb. “Come on shake your bones…”.

Scuzzed, fuzzed, raucous. Dirty blues that shakes your bones indeed. Here it is how the guys from Abattoir Blues describe this three piece: “They play everything into the red; violent bottle neck blues riffs, drums kicked, pounded and twatted and squeals of reverb drenched vocals all combine to help save your soul”. Certainly, they may save your soul… by dirtying it.

The riff of ‘Pig Sty’ reminds me of Ten Years After’s ‘I’m coming on’ in some way, but, again, it could be just the environmental haze…

The three of them seem electrocuted and electrifying as they play the third song, which if I’m not wrong –probably I am, it’s ‘Wild Witch Lady’, from Death Vignettes, the ‘reduced’ version of Bones Shake, with just the two Daves performing more bare bones blues than bones shake. Personally, I prefer this ‘alter duo’. Just raw rock, no dumb show.

‘Gut Bucket’ and ‘Stash’ highlight Brennan’s Bohemian leanings, evoking a vague reminiscence of raging seventies, perhaps.

Deep in ‘Mean Season’, Brennan sings as if he was theatrically looking to the endless sea; after this hypnotic lapse, he shakes his hips with an imaginary hula hoop.

A quite punk intro foresees their smash-hit-to-be ‘You Should End It All’, enhanced by Brennan’s gutty, rough voice. “Go on, my deaaarrrr; go on, my deaaarrr”. In honour of this funnily catchy song, Brenner is about to end this thunderstorm show, with ‘Oh My Lord’. He takes a small DIY bible to perform this tune, so guess he is now some kind rock n’ roll preacher, pointing at the parishioners, and he even ‘baptises’ some of them, down from the pulpit. Then he leaves the convent and goes back to the stage, shirtless.

Frankly, there’s no need to be that theatrical, as you’re not that kind of rock n’ roll star… yet. Meanwhile, let your bones shake all the haze and daze!

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Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!