We started the evening with some Creedence Clearwater Revival. This was a band with a most interesting style – very rootsy, very back-to-basics, but also willing to do some interesting things, musically (I love their bass lines). The reality is that you don’t have to get into elaborate song structures to be a great band – you just have to get a good sound out of your instruments, and play together as a solid unit, which they did. The result is that they did a number of really great, memorable songs, and we heard a few: Susie Q, Bad Moon Rising, Lodi, Green River, Commotion, and Fortunate Son.
A few weeks ago, I made a promise to a friend that I would play a particular Cure song for her. So, I am doing so, and building a set around that song – not a consistent theme, per se, but finding some interesting material from their mid-late ’80s catalog. We started the set with the song in question, Pictures of You (a great song off of the excellent Disintegration album from ’89). We then heard Dressing Up, one of several great songs from their highly underrated ’84 album The Top. We followed that with Torture, a great song from the Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album (1987). We then heard two more songs from The Top, Caterpillar Girl and Piggy In The Mirror, before completing the set with two more songs from Disintegration: Fascination Street, and the title track.
Another band that I’ve been listening to a lot as of late is The Cream. Although they were short-lived as a band, owing to a clash of personalities, the music that they made easily ranks among some of the most memorable rock music ever created. We heard Outside Woman Blues, Badge, Tales of Brave Ullyses, We’re Going Wrong (the version from their BBC studio compilation), and their excellent live rendition of Crossroads, from Wheels of Fire (there are three completely different renditions of this song that they recorded).
Siouxsie and the Banshees issued a most interesting live album, Nocturne, in 1983. At the time that they recorded the album, they were actually in-between guitarists, having had to let John McGeoch go due to his alcoholism. Robert Smith (yes, the Cure’s Robert Smith), having filled in for them in 1981 when the two bands were touring together, was asked to fill in for them, and he actually recorded Hyaena with them (he is actually considered to have been a member of both bands during that time period). He left the Banshees in ’84, citing a sense of overwork that came from being in two bands. But before he left, they recorded this ’83 concert. Happily, a video of the concert, along with extras, has recently been released in DVD format (and in a universal non-PAL format that can be viewed in American DVD players). This is a worthy acquisition for those who are fans of Robert Smith, as his guitar work is downright spectacular, or who are fans of early ’80s post-punk. We heard Pulled to Bits, Night Shift, Sin in My Heart, Slowdive, and Painted Bird.
I’ve been in the mood to play some Lamb of God for a few weeks, so we heard Omerta (from Ashes Of The Wake) and Descending (from Sacrament). We then closed the show with some Alice in Chains: Dam That River (from 1991’s Dirt), and Looking In View, from their excellent 2009 album Black Gives Way to Blue.