dinsdag 1 mei 2012
Larry and his Flask, live in the Q-Bus, Leiden
Larry and his Flask made their intentions clear from the very beginning. We were in for a party of up tempo Americana, with stand-up drummer and master of ceremony Jaimin Marshall leading the pack at the front of the stage. No butt staring for this drummer! The line up of Larry & Flask is mostly acoustic. With the exception of the electric guitar of lead singer Ian Cook. Acoustic guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass, banjo, but just as easy some members switch to horns, what a surprise! All of a sudden this warm big copper sounds, bass traded for harmonica with the bass dropped in the hands of the singer, all in great haste. In instrument swapping, as well as musical reference, Larry and his Flask reminds me of The Hackensaw Boys, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphies, Kaizers Orchestra and De Kift. It's the same sort of energy, almost rapturous way of playing, the big, big gestures and the great fun. The way the stand up bass was flying around made me wonder how many accidents have gone on before. The manic look in the eyes of guitarist Dallin Bulkley made me fear for his sanity, during his moments of big surges of unleashed energy. And "Animal" switched instrument and decided to play bass in his new band. The rest of the band surrendered the whole back of the stage to Jeshua Marshall, to run around, jump, dance like a dervish around his bass or throw the thing into the air and catch it. And if all this wasn't enough, there were band members doing whole rounds of running through the audience and playing their instrument at the same time.
The music is Americana but with enormous charges of energy, pepperized. A mix of rockabilly, blue grass, country and folk in disguise. At the same time it's as punk as punk comes, only played with traditional instruments. However, if we put all the antics aside for a while, what also is quite clear, that Larry c.s. have the songs to boot. Great harmonizing, well worked out arrangements, which I'm looking forward to hear on the album.
Larry and his Flask have decided to serve up a storm, but beneath it hide songwriters that have something to say as well. For Marvin Gaye's 'What's going on' they did what The Baseballs did for Rhianna's 'Umbrella' and Robbie Williams' 'Angels'. Totally charged up, making it a new song. The single ballad gave all on and off stage the one moment of rest in the show. The other was a broken string on the electric guitar. Compared to The Hackensaw Boys Larry and his Flask hardly broke any, but attacking instruments and snares specifically, this way, breaking things is part of the deal, inevitable.
This is their first European tour, with dates in several countries for over a month. This will not be their last European tour, I'm sure. So don't miss out on them the next time around. As I heard in the Q-Bus after the show: "this was one if the best shows he (Hans van Polanen's) put on ever". I tend to agree, but was left behind with one question. Where was Larry?
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