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Review: 'The Dirty Strangers and Katalina Kicks'
'Live At the Troubadour, Earls Court.'   


-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '15.2.19.'

Our Rating:
I can't help loving going to see The Dirty Strangers regular monthly gig at The Troubadour normally with a different special guest most months, this time it's with Timo Kaltio the Finnish Guitar legend who has played with among others Cheap n Nasty, Izzy Stradlin and The Ba Ba Booms (at least one other Ba Ba Boom was in the audience, although he's better known for being in Sham 69 and Lords Of the New Church.)

It was also another chance to see Katalina Kicks who I last saw last year on a bill with The Dirty Strangers and Bernie Torme who I heard the night before the gig was in Intensive care with Double Pneumonia and obviously everyone at the gig was sending prayers and best wishes to Bernie hoping he makes a full recovery.

Katalina Kicks were playing this show ahead of going into Strongroom Studios on the 16th to start recording the bands third album. The opening song Bomb sounded good even if for most of the song it lacked any of Conor Cotterill's bass, he was playing but something wasn't right, once they sorted that out and it was rumbling like it ought too, they appropriately enough played Fixed with plenty of angst and a good amount of force as Ian George did all sorts of things with his effects pedals during the instrumental bit.

The next song according to the set-list I could see from the seats we had very close to the stage said World was next and it had some good crunchy guitar from Ian and as with almost everything they do some propulsive drumming from Jase Wilkinson.

We Don't Care was so tight is was obvious just how much they really do care about being a great punky power trio. They dedicated Search And Destroy to Bernie Torme and the version they played was more in debt to The Electric Gypsies version than the Stooges for obvious reasons, it also had most of us singing along to it as you'd expect.

Not sure what addictions the band were trying to get over on Kick It but this would be a good song to help keep you on the right path after you've managed to Kick It whatever it is you needed out of your life even a bad girlfriend or two. Well you'd want to get the Guns they are then singing about out of your life for sure and it had a good hard bassline like a pump action along with some nice rimshots to make it feel like we're are in the middle of a gun fight instead of sitting in a dark basement.

I'm not sure what they are trying to cut up on Cut it Up, if it's the credit cards or a pile of snow either way it's urgent and has some great guitar work to help get the point across. They then have a good go at the blank statues they see around on Mannequin that went down really well.

Yeah Yeah Yeah sounds as much like the replies you give to someone nagging away at you as anything and of course the chorus is easy to join in with. They then closed with what I guessed was Get Away and I have to say I hope they get away and make a great new album as Katalina Kicks are a great fun power trio well worth seeing live.

After the break it was once again time for The Dirty Strangers who started as a trio of Alan Clayton on vocals and Guitar with Cliff Wright on Bass and Lol Fox on drums and they opened almost like normal with Danger First that was as good as spat at us in parts as they laid out the bands manifesto.

Running Slow was played at near breakneck speed obviously as you'd expect, it was during the guitar solo that Alan stepped back into Timo's guitar that was all tuned up ready to go knocking it over.

It might have been because they had too much Stuff on stage or just the cheeky glint in Alan's eyes as he sang the song but damn everyone seemed to be having a great time. It never takes long for The Dirty Strangers to start singing about the ladies they like and Here She Comes was sleazy and salacious and just downright good fun as they continue to look for a girlfriend.

Talk To Me was full of chat up lines and spot on guitar as Alan and Cliff did some good harmonizing on the chorus. One Good reason is all this lot need to sidle up to you and ask for what they want and well your likely to give it to them as well when they sound this in your face.

As ever they sing about that Special Girl that they are always looking out for and trying to find, and we all hope one day she makes them the happy men they want to be. But until that day they will have to settle for the one they love giving them the Liberty Smile again that smile that says did you really just say that too me!

Yes of course this lot are first class Trouble Makers who know how to get a club up and at it and by this point they had a group of drunken dancers busting some very funny moves. We then get to my normal point of confusion as was the next song Baby or was it The Crown I'm going to guess that it was The Crown and let Alan correct me later as it went down a treat.

They then got Timo Kaltio up who as ever had on enough scarves and bangles to look like he was trying out for The Quireboys! As well as his trademark hat. As seems almost normal the opener for the guest guitarist was Are You Satisfied that had Timo fiddling about trying to get his guitar to sound right as Alan and Cliff just kept on going like normal while shooting glances across the stage.

They then had to find Timo a different amp as the first one had given up the ghost and while that was going on, they played Diamonds that sounded good enough as a trio and eventually Timo joined in with a good jagged solo at the end that may or may not have fitted with the song the rest of the band was playing.

On South Of The River Timo played some really cool stuff that went around what the rest of the band played like he was taking a be-bop jazz approach to the tune only on a slightly scuzzy guitar instead. I liked the stuff he did when he was playing about with the switches and dials on the guitar it sounded totally cool.

Bad Girls was played with a big smirk on everyone's face and they all played the same tune this time. No one had to put there Hands Up to doing anything wrong even if it wasn't all right it was certainly entertaining with some great looks from Cliff and Alan at what Timo was getting up too, Timo is always great to watch play and thankfully he never fell off the stage like he did when I saw him with the Ba Ba Booms a few years ago he just did some very creative stuff on his guitar to help close a cool set.

They came back after a little cajoling from Alan's son Paul who also helped to flog quite a few of the bands T-shirts before we all had a good sing along to Bathing Belles like normal as it went down a storm and left everyone with smiles on their faces. As always, The Dirty Strangers put on a great fun night out.
  author: simonovitch

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