Scott H Birham with support from Podracer
Wednesday 10th April 2013 – George’s Quay, Dundalk
Taking to the stage to open the night were local punk/alt rock outfit Podracer. Having been described by BBC N.Ireland’s Across the Line, as “tightly woven” and “antagonistic”…their live set is three man attack on the senses. Their thirty five minutes on stage is the product of a combined twenty years experience of playing live and loud music. Beginning with a track called ‘Hammers and a Handgun’ it completely set the tone for the rest of the night – with lyrics pretty much summing it up “I’m gonna have me some fun, cuz I’m armed with hammers and a handgun.” You have no choice, you’re gonna hear them…or at least they’re gonna make sure you hear them. Performing songs from their debut album Parking Cars and Pumping Gas, the set consists of a plethora of tracks that take you from the highest of highs down to the lowest of lows. Some of the songs that stood out and can tell you exactly what this band are about are; ‘Nothing to Lose’ -it displays the grunge/rock element that you get off the lead singer and the great song writing talent within the band. ‘California Boys’ and ‘Pocket Monster,’ – gives the bassist the platform to show what he’s got; the minimalist approach to blend the other elements together. The drummers’ influence clearly lies in the punk era with energetic and disciplined solos in tracks like ‘Vulpes’ and my personal favourite track ‘X – Ray.’ Not for the feint hearted Podracer are up front, in your face, honest and wonderfully satirical. A small crowd doesn’t stop them giving the gig everything they have. Straight off the bat you know they work hard at what they do. Clocking up gig mileage is their plan for 2013 with whispers of a new album in the making. Check them out on FB/Spotify and just buy the album!
Carrying on from that ruckus was the headliner Scott H Biram. An alumni of the punk and bluegrass school of music, this self confessed ‘Dirty Old One Man Band’ is just exactly that. Check shirt, trucker cap and that unmistakable southern drawl that cuts like shrapnel on the mic. A smaller man would be lost in his arsenal of instruments, but he is armed with amps, guitars and equipment boxes galore. A guitar stand holds up a collection of vintage guitars (a 1959 Gibson worth a pretty penny), rock guitars and a stomp board of his own creation. Boxed in by the amps, the idea is that the sound travels from the stomp board and is thrown back out onto the audience to get them hootin’ and hollerin’ along. A perfect, comical mixture of Seasick Steve and our very own Shane McGowan; Biram is a man possessed. Flying through his set with purpose but also no real sense of planning, he jokes that we’re in it for the long haul. “I got about 8000 songs here so…we could be here all night”. Songs included ‘Open Road’, ‘Just Another River’, ‘Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue’. With his back catalogue, he’d be right, he has released a new album and toured at least once every year for the last eleven years! Chatting and laughing with the audience is one of Biram’s great qualities with the odd vulgar joke thrown in too; an intro to one of his songs ” This is a love song, so spread your legs.” It wasn’t a huge crowd in attendance but that (much like the band before) didn’t knock his mojo. An absolute tour de force, the progression and genre bending he did in the hour he was playing looked so effortless. With nods to Leadbelly and Muddy Waters he conquered the set, ending it in a near five minute riff that wouldn’t have been out of place at a metal gig. It was only then, that we realised why the hard rockers Podracer were support. It wouldn’t be right to say that he ended with a bang, because the whole show was banging! Leaving the stage, sippin’ on his Jack Daniel’s his last words were “GET HIGH, EVERYBODY GET HIGH”…so we did!