Karma To Burn / 60 Watt Shamen - Nottingham Old Angel, December 4 2001

Never heard of the 60 Watt Shamen before. Really rather impressive, kind of Southern drawled Sabbathesque stuff, with a bit of Anselmo like singing style, deep throated, bourbon soaked kind of roar, but still able to carry a tune. There's some powerful material in there, sounding a bit more diverse than I initially thought they would be after one song. There's one song where they talk about the September 11 events, and how some bands are afraid to fly, but they said "fuck that shit". Which is just kinda getting a bit predicatable. I mean the fuck that shit response to anything. Another song is dedicated to whoever broke into their bus that day and took all their rolls of film from 3 weeks of touring, and their last bag of grass. It's a shame that some people can manage to conspire to leave a bad taste in the mouth of touring bands. And then there's the bassist. Oh, a bassist who looks like a cross between Kerry King and Steve Von Till with his bald tattooed head and fearsome beard. And well, you know how some people manage to caress a guitar, like it's your partner, gently stroking your hands all over the body in order to bring forth sounds of joy, pleasure and ecstasy. Slowly bringing more and more out. Well, he was nowt like that. This was the alternative I want to break your fucking neck" wrestle with a guitar. Not pretty, but compelling.

It's the second time KTB have played here, as they acknowledge during one of the few moments of vocal action during the set "we're batting 500" which receives quizzical huhs "never mind it's baseball you stupid limies" comes the grin delivered reply. Last time I was mightily impressed, to the point that I was going to buy one of their albums. But that never actually happened. Tonight didn't quite approach that same level for me, with the set dragging somewhat during the middle period. But that could be simply because I don't know the music well. They still appear to enjoy it, the drummer has his cymabls set so high he almost has to stretch to hit them. You'd imagine it would be a very tiring way to play the drums, but I guess it does heighten the visual impact, and the bass player still appears to assume a position like he was sitting astride a motorcycle when he plays the bass. When they hit form, the music is captivating, but tonight for me there were as many high points as the last time I saw them.