8th March 2012.
at The Rescue Rooms for tonight’s gig, your Strange
Things team are somewhat surprised to see no less than
three support acts listed. This is theoretically value for money,
and while we’ve missed the opener, we are in time to catch
the opening bit of Chris Reeve Esq, who turns out to be a rather
dull sounding bloke with a guitar. Discretion being the better
part of valour, we head back down to the main bar for a couple
of wildly overpriced Hobgoblins before returning to the Red Room
(The Rescue Rooms tiny upstairs offspring) for Burly Nagasaki.
This proves to be a mistake. The band turn out to be an act I
saw a month or so earlier, under a different name – either
they have recently rebranded or simply chance their name for each
gig to confuse punters who would otherwise know to stay away.
A decidedly sub-par and self-consciously ‘quirky’
White Stripes, they are just as heavy going tonight as last time,
and the fact that they seem so damn pleased with themselves makes
them even more irritating.
Thankfully, Thomas Truax is soon on stage to show how genuinely
eccentric music should be done. While I had some issues with his
most recent album, Truax live is
remarkable – a one-man-band with a stage full of his extraordinary
home made instruments – and the odd ‘real’ instrument
– he plays a mix of gleefully oddball yet undeniably enjoyable
tunes that defy categorisation. He’s also hilarious –
his self-deprecating humour, his fumbling and the assorted technical
difficulties (he’d lost his usual soundman earlier this
day) making this a wonderfully good-natured and entertaining show.
At one point, he lives the amplification behind to wander out
into the middle of the audience with a guitar, before cheerfully
heading out of the room and down the stairs, still playing, before
returning… and then heading out of the door on the other
This good-natured, rather intimate approach seems to translate
to the audience, who are themselves an unusually mixed bunch (looking
around the room, you would have no idea about what sort of musical
act would be performing) and the gig seems to become less of a
show and more an intimate gathering of friends.
Truax really deserves his own TV show – his mix of comedy,
music and eccentricity would make for a great show. In the absence
of that, I’d suggest you ensure that the next time he plays
anywhere near you, you make sure that you catch him.