Get that first cup of coffee down me. Time to reflect on what I had seen at the Captain's Rest last night. Then put pen to paper for there are words to be written.
Let's start with Dave Arcari. Other bands must hate him. He plays with such a sense of purpose that you wouldn't want to follow him and, fuelled by whisky and the Devil's own nuclear power, he did indeed blast his way through a set of fire breathing blues. God knows what that shiny National guitar of his was made of as it took a serious pounding. That the thing about Dave Arcari. He's a very physical performer and you know that he means every word he sings. Perhaps you remember the X Files and its tag line - "The Truth is Out There"? If you looking for truth in music then you'll find it in Dave Arcari.
Following Dave Arcari, like I said, would be no easy matter and if there were ever a band to rise to that challenge then it would be Hijak Oscar. This six piece band is from York and had apparently been on that Orange Unsigned thing on the telly. Having now heard them, it's hard to imagine a band less likely to appeal to corporate sensibilities. Sounding like great grandchildren of London r & b scene from the sixties, they added elegant folk flourishes and brought their music to the boil with the kind of sheer raucous energy that you'd normally associate with punk. Certainly, that little sound system in the Captain's Rest was completely overcome by this band. Hell, it was completely overcome - as was I - by the sheer seductive power of Gaby Milner's voice.
I look at the CDs and t-shirt that I bought last night. There's the proof. Every time I hear something special, I empty my wallet. It doesn't happen often but it happened last night. Hijak Oscar and Dave Arcari are highly individual performers and when they performed they both induced that sense of joy that only the best can. It might be raining outside - and it was - but it was hotter than hell inside. Maybe the Devil has all the best tunes after all?