I caught a great show at the Tractor last Friday night featuring the Beltholes and the Lowe Beats.
With undeniable musical talent and a slightly warped sense of humor the Beltholes put on a highly rocking, extremely entertaining show. They sound like a crazy mash-up of Queen, Marty Robbins, The Dictators and Thin Lizzy. They’ve got a bunch of great songs, with complex arrangements that they pull off with amazing agility live – bravura vocals, harmonies, shredding guitars, keys, percussion, they make it all look so easy and so much fun. Kurt Block (Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellows) is in the band; a sure sign of quality if ever there was one.
Fronted by the talented, funny and charismatic Scott McCaughey, the Lowe Beats kept the musicianship and fun coming on strong, playing an amazing set of great Nick Lowe hits and should have been hits. Lowe’s songs are wonderful and the Lowe Beats preformed them with obvious love and great skill. Hey any band with any member of the Young Fresh Fellows or the Model Rockets is going to be good and this band has two of each – the aforementioned Scott McCaughey (YFF) lead vocals/rhythm guitar, Jim Sangster (YFF) on guitar, John Ramberg (Model Rockets) on guitar/bass and backing vocals and Graham Black (Model Rockets) on drums. I don’t know what other band(s) bassist/guitarist Hugh Jones has played in but I do now know that he’s a very talented musician – for the last few songs of the set he handed his bass to John Ramberg, plugged in a beautiful vintage blonde telecaster and preceded to blow my socks off with his guitar heroics.
As this was a special reunion performance to commemorate Yep Rock Record’s reissue of Nick Lowe’s fantastic “Jesus of Cool” album the Lowe Beats might never play again but if they do be sure to go, you won’t regret it. In the meantime check out the Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, the Tripwires, the Doll Test, the Beltholes, Sgt. Major, Roy Loney and the Longshots…