Live Reviews

  The Radiotones and Le Reno Amps live at Nice and Sleazy in Glasgow

It has been a while since Bluesbunny has been in Nice N Sleazy in dear old Glasgow. This basement venue on Sauchiehall Street well deserves its name and is ideally suited to the musical treats that are to be experienced tonight namely the Radiotones and Le Reno Amps.

Supporting the Radiotones tonight are Le Reno Amps. They proved to be a bit of a surprise. If you have listened to their CDs then you would class their music at the rockier end of Americana but live they are something different. They show a remarkable good humour and give a truly storming performance. Scott Maple and Al Nero swap lead vocals and witty banter in a manner that kind of reminded us of Apples in Stereo without the quirkiness or even Talking Heads without the artiness. Le Reno Amps are purveyors of clever and catchy songs and we get plenty of them tonight. You will probably have deduced by now that they are also brilliant live having an almost punk energy and just the right degree of rawness. "Wound Up" was pure class, for example. Any band that throws in a bit of theatre is just fine with us. Their music just soars from the stage to your ears. We are very impressed.

The Radiotones are a formidable live act and, for once, they have a hard act to follow. They do not disappoint and rise to the challenge. Front man Dave Arcari is a top showman in his own right but add the rest of the Radiotones you have a hard working, tight as a nut, blues band. They have a whole power station worth of energy - Bluesbunny can only recall seeing one band that gets close and that is the Lancaster's The Convulsions - with Jim Harcus' harmonica ripping its way through the sound mix to impressive effect. "Dreamt I was 100" is a Bluesbunny favourite and it maintains its freshness in the live environment. That resonator guitar takes it like a man as it is properly abused by our Mr Arcari and is the perfect accompaniment to his growling, howling voice. There is no point looking for deeper meaning here as nothing is complex here - just four guys raising the roof in the best party style. Honest music played with true conviction and no arty posturing is what you get. Works for me!

It takes a lot to match the sheer energy of the Radiotones but Le Reno Amps came close. Nothing that the Bluesbunny has heard from their recorded output prepared us for what was experienced tonight. They are a powerhouse live band. In the result of tonight's Battle of the Bands, we will have to call the evening a score draw. Nice N Sleazy is a decent venue as well with good sound. On a final, philosophical note, we wish to point out that lager should never be cloudy and you should not be selling the strong drink if you don't know that.

Review Date: August 9 2007