Spirit Caravan / Hangnail / Shallow

Nottingham Old Angel

October 1 1999

Pretty much the first time I've stepped foot out of the house in the last few weeks for something other than going to work. Out of practice on all this, so don't expect anything insightful. Plus I'm still way too highly stressed and focussed at the moment. I need sleep. I need relaxation.

Shallow are already doing their thing as I arrive, and mighty fine it is. They appear to have the key to accessible stoner stylisms. Is there such a word as that? Well there is now. But yeah, that just means they keep the groove, the focus on the song without buggering off down arsewank avenue. Danny in particular is going for it, shaking that head, and there's a nicely sized and appreciative audience to witness it. So far so good.

Next is Hangnail, and as I've not got the CD handy, I've promptly forgotten the titles of all the songs they played. What I know is that most if not all are from the album, and where I'm a little indifferent to their studio output, live it worked much better. Again, time constraints mean they focus more, and it's a valuable aid. They drag some lady from the crowd to sing, forget the name now, and it certainly adds to the songs. There also some wonderfully cheesy raps by a drunk Harry Hangnail, cheese factor Biohazard would've been proud of. The hair is whipped, the vocals I've decided are definitely Chris Cornell in their style, and if they can just focus more in the studio and recapture that live thing, then I'd be a happier bunny.

Shows how much some people know doesn't it? Yeah. I spent the entire set watching this hulking bloke exhaling as he plays the guitar, thinking "he looks like Pete Steele and Lemmy combined". Then as Spirit Caravan end their set, the roar of "Wino Wino" goes up. Ah yeah of course, Stoner legend Wino. Some people. Anyway, that may account for the near capacity crowd that's turned out to pay homage. Never heard the band before meself, but Mr Marksound wanders past, AWOL from his place in the soundbooth with a big grin and shouting "what a band, what a dream of a band", and though on first listen that may be a bit much for me to agree with, they certainly but up a fight against the stiff UK opposition that's been playing here this evening. So, no song titles from me, what's that I said, out of practice? The ineptitude makes me feel like I've never been away. Or maybe that's the Newkie Browns. My they taste nice, I've missed 'em. The music churns away, there's a few times the eyes are drawn to just watching Wino play guitar, hating the fact that some people can make it look so easy, look like their playing such easy chords and notes, the sort that even I could play, and yet the sound that emanates is like nothing I could do in my wildest dreams. Bahoo, life sucks sort of thing. But some were made to play, and others ... weren't. Looks like Wino was. Things run more than a touch close to the time wire, and so there's no time for an encore. But hey, sometimes it's better that way.