Tag Archives: King Palmer

Mo-Ma-Mia: Five acts, Live at The Railway!

For expatriate Scots, those who claim Celtic roots, even just those who love the sounds of bagpipes, it was a truly moving weekend. To quote the official organisation website, it was “an amazing, crazy, exhausting, stress-filled, beautiful, heartening, joy-filled, roller coaster weekend of awesome!”

I am, of course, referring to the Reno, Nevada, Celtic Celebration held on Saturday last, boasting not only a Highland Athletics competition and War Birds Of Prey exhibition, but also a full pipe band competition.

Which means I am incredibly fortunate indeed to have been 7,182 miles away from Reno, at the most recent mofo airing courtesy of the Railway Hotel. Five great acts, an entry fee even a Scot would consider reasonable, and not a single windbag of the allegedly musical variety.

The evening began innocently enough with a solo performance by the artist known as Roscoe-Lee Browne (Pictured above). Delivering his Talkin Country Blues with a touch of understated acoustic guitar, his evocative storytelling and poetic journeys took centre stage and proved an appropriately simple way to catch the attention of the crowd. His performance was without unneccesary fanfare or fuss, and ended gently almost catching everyone unaware. Very classy.

An acoustic guitar and lyrically well-crafted songs were also features of the second act of the night, but that’s about where the comparisons ended. King Palmer takes no prisoners, and even in the King Palmer MOFO Oct 2015 Lunusual version of “stripped-back” that the boys unveiled (acousic guitar/vox + Marshall-saturated lead) nobody could accuse them of being less intense than their full band persona. It was a shred-fest from beginning to end, blistering riffs barely pausing to allow vocal delivery. No doubt a few other punters would agree with me wishing there was an equally heavy rhythm section behind the duo… maybe next time!

A hard act to follow KP may have been but, as the genre rollercoaster that is mofo took a left hand turn, up stepped a man who always exhibits the knack to grab a room’s attention. I think I’ve only seen Uncle Toby onstage backed by former Cairns DJ/producer extraordinaire Jimmy Flipshyt, and indeed his beats on the night Uncle Tobywere Jimmys, but the performance itself lost little having the backing tracks pre-produced. Uncle Toby’s delivery always pushes the infectious (in a good way) grooves to another level, and I would be surprised if a foot was left un-tapping anywhere in the pub. Popping a hip-hop act into a night loaded with bands playing the heavy end of the spectrum can be a risky proposition, but get the right artist and you’re sweet. Nice work man.

If the first three acts each had an element of simplicity, things were about to change. Fresh from their support of The Smith Street Band, Cairns’ favourite ska-brats (well, are there any others?) Jobstopper stepped up to delivery what I believe to be a completely different set fJobstopper MOFO Oct 2015rom the week before. I guess Hammo leaving his keytar at home – apparently deliberately – was in some way a simplification of their show, but that’s about it. Edgy, energetic, fun and sweary, is it any wonder I like this mob despite them sometimes making my work that bit more challenging? And although they would probably protest this statement, being all punk, their material is so solidly written than even those not generally into punk are almost guaranteed to enjoy a Jobstopper show. Do yourself a favour, if you haven’t caught ’em recently.

WIth one act left to perform, the crowd still hadn’t really gotten too out of control (maybe we should have had punter barriers again?) Although this was probably annoying to the Jobstopper boys, it made perfect sense once the first power chords, high-gain sweep patterns and drum patterns announced Odius was ready to play. The foursome is custom-designed to play at venues like The Railway Odius MOFO Oct 2015where fast and loud are the orders of the day, and they didn’t disappoint. From their opener to night’s end they were super tight, punishingly heavy and offensively talented, all four totally committed to the show and seemingly contributing effortlessly. The audience responded, with a small but committed group banging enthusiastically into each other and some of the stage gear (no Rob, it’s OK, everything was fine) and demanding an encore track. On a personal note, it’s always a pleasure to work with these fellas, and it’s awesome to watch as they just get tighter and more proficient every time I see them play.

And then, it was all over. The tired crowd and performers alike felt their way to the bar through the unnecessarily thick haze, knocked back a couple of well-deserved drinks which I trust were for rehydration purposes, and started making plans for the next mofo just a few weeks away. If I were you, I’d plan to be there too. Bring a bagpipe so I can tie my writeup up full circle, with my final sentence.

Jon Niehaus

Photos by Pappi-razzi

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