Reverend Horton Heat at the Rosemount, Perth – Gig Review

December 20, 2010
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Music Vice is pleased is pleased to present the following review from our newest contributor, James Walker.

Gig/Concert: Reverend Horton Heat with Ruby Roots and Cal Peck & The Tramps
Venue: Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Date: 15 December 2010
Headliners: Reverend Horton Heat
In one word: Freakout!

Walking into the Rosemount there was a definite electricity in the air, as the moment had almost arrived – the first Perth appearance of the mighty Reverend Horton Heat.

The night opened on an uplifting high with the gorgeous local act Ruby Boots, a 6-piece playing soulful, bluesy electric folk music, setting the country-rooted tone of the night.

Next up, definitely no strangers to MusicVice’s pages, were Cal Peck and the Tramps. Opening with “Cinnamon”, the crowd started to show some energy, with people dancing in front of the stage. Cal, ever the gentlemen, hoped we were ‘having a nice evening’ – a mild way to put it for some, as that evening that jugs of Toohey’s were on special for $10. He informed us in a matter-of-fact manner that dancing was encouraged, which seemed a little unnecessary as the crowd was already warmed up.

Image credit: http://www.reverendhortonheat.com

During the change-over, the crowd swelled in eager anticipation to get their first live taste of the Reverend. The lights dimmed, a bombastic horn track sent shivers down spines, the crowd screamed, and the Reverend Horton Heat swaggered into the stage to a rocking punkabilly opener, with frenzied howling from bass player Jimbo Wallace. With a wry grin which lasted the whole night, Reverend Jim “Horton” Heath gave his sermon in a Southern drawl to the waiting mass. As their first Perth show, it was a chronological set, giving punters a taste of all their albums – the standout moment of the whole show was “400 Bucks”, which ended with Jimbo collapsed on the floor, almost destroying his bass, with the Reverend standing over him, almost burning through his guitar.

They broke with chronological order to play a few songs off their latest album, Laughin’ & Cryin’ with the Reverend Horton Heat. Having a brief chat with the audience, it was explained that there are many different kinds of cactus in Texas – peyote of course getting a cheer – before turning things up for “Ain’t No Saguaro in Texas”, followed by “Cowboy Song”, which the Reverend explained that when he wrote it, it “seemed like a good idea at the time”. Look up the lyrics, you’ll understand what he means. He then took the time to properly introduced Jimbo Wallace, bursting into one of the crowd favourites, “Jimbo Song”. The last song before the encore was their most self-descriptive of tracks, “Psychobilly Freakout”, which the crowd went wild for.

Coming back from the break the first thing the Reverend did was praise the chicks of Perth for being hot, before mumbling something along the lines of Perth guys being ugly. Also, a gentleman. After another introduction of bass and drums they launched into a swinging cover of Bill Haley’s “Rock This Joint”, and the Reverend himself was finally introduced as a man who really, really loves his country music, testified to by a ripping rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues”. And thus the sermon was over, but the crowd? Thoroughly elated.

© James Walker, Music Vice

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