Shredd, The Animal Mothers, FAT BLACK CATS, Thee Rag N Bone Man at Stereo, 30/12/17

Thee Rag N Bone Man is a one man band (nee one man army!), a mass of equipment lays at the front of the stage as if to be set up later when Thee Rag N Bone Man straps on his guitar and starts at 100 mile an hour.

A bass drum, snare drum, hi hat cymbal and a crash cymbal all played by his left foot whilst thrashing along with his slide guitar blues.

A real treat – ‘Trash Blues’ one song leading straight into another with maybe in the region of 20 songs in the set.

The latecomers, as the venue is only just filling up, are missing a real treat as he gives us the blues, whether it be ‘I fell in love with a 16-stone girl, the food was good but the sex was painful’, ‘three bottles of white lightning and a smelly finger’ or ‘kill a hipster for rock n roll’.

This guy knows the blues with his high-energy performance and a cracking sound for a solo performance.

Distortion at its best with a multitude of other effects from a plethora of effects pedals; what start to the proceedings – time to take a breath.

More blues from the FAT BLACK CATS be it the garage punk blues, where Thee Rag N Bone man was high-energy these guys are Intense, even more so when the tops come off and they are stripped to the waist.

Driving rhythms and stories of the perils of living in the jungle of Blantyre these guys switch easily between blues and garage punk as easily as they swap instruments through the set – each member eventually having played guitar, bass and drums by the end of the set; does it affect their sound? – not in the slightest.

Reminding us very much of Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers (and their earlier incantation Uncle John and Whitelock) whom they have supported in the past.

The Animal Mothers are a surf punk band from Falkirk and Glasgow and where the first two acts had blues running through their veins these guys are definitely influenced more by rock n roll and garage punk.

A terrific wall of sound created by the three guitars in the band, again in short bursts with songs of two to two-and-a-half minutes duration.

All with the manic antics of Wallace on guitar and vocals who is showing where his influences lay with his black cowboy shirt that Link Wray would have been proud of.

Songs of hipster suicide, police brutality and selling drugs to kids – no lightweight topics here.

They switch seamlessly from garage punk to rock ‘n’ roll in fact taking us back to the 60’s with ‘Donovan’s Reefer’ from their latest album (did I mention Link Wray?).

Other highlights from their album, The Animal Mothers Must Be Destroyed, are ‘Hipster Suicide’, ‘A Rain Will Come’ and closing with an extended version of ‘I Am Distortion’; these guys know how to rock.

Shredd close the show with their brand of garage rock and it’s been a great year for Shredd with three releases in 2017 on Fuzzkill Records and recognition at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards where they won the best newcomer award.

A rock solid set with driving guitars, powerful drums, infectious hooks and catchy melodies; 2018 should bring bigger and better things for this hardworking band (they seem to be gigging every week).

A fine mix of blues, garage punk and rock ‘n’ roll to close the year!

Words: Derek McCutcheon
Photos: Allan Lewis


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