Sunday, 31 October 2010


12 Dirty Bullets - LIVE @ The Garage, Highbury & Islington 29/10/10

Today's review is of local boys and Trinity Bar fellow good timers 12 Dirty Bullets, and separating Friday night's gig at The Garage from the other gigs I have attended and reviewed recently is that I chose this gig because I wanted to go, rather than being assigned to go with the promise of a few Red Stripes and a fistful of silver so you'll have to excuse me for being less than objective when reviewing mates rather than the usual posers I see.

12 Dirty Bullets have earned their stripes and done the grafting to warrant a gig at newly re-opened Garage (although personally I didn't even notice a lick of paint or new door knob different to that of the old one) and have filled the venue with actual record buying fans as well as some friends and family rather than 80-20 ratio the other way which is very ofter then case of up and coming bands on the circuit.

They start the set strong with "Black Roses And Violence" from their debut album and new track "Dreamers" and by the time the band has fallen in around lead singer and guitarist Jamie Jamieson's intro the crowd are already behind them and up for a good night for all.

Tonight's gig includes 8 tracks from their debut "Downsides To Making A Living" including "Sweet Susie", "Rock 'n' Roll Pretty Boys" as well as 5 new tracks being road tested before the second album is released such as gem and definite single worthy "She Could Love You Forever" with its Billy Bragg sounding lyric cradled within a strong money chorus that could be the turning point up the ladder for the band.

The set continued with "Keep Chancing", the first single "Fatman" and crowd favourite "Good Time Girls" which puts 12 Dirty Bullets above a lot of bands in the same genre simply because of the craftsmanship and quality of songwriting involved.

12 Dirty Bullets have never been shy in wearing their influences on their sleeve or in the case of songwriter, Jamie Jamieson, his chest (tonight he sports the classic "Hi how are You?" t-shirt from indie underground legend in his own lunchtime Daniel Johnston) although this was probably missed by the majority of the crowd as they prepared to launch beer at each other and perform high risk shoulder standing acrobatics during the Arctic Monkeys influenced track "Champagne And Cocaine" (another live favourite and a drink spiller unless you watch from a safe distance). This is one of their strongest tracks to date and shows each member of the band playing full tilt as a unit which shows that this isn't a one man show but a well oiled and good old fashioned rock and roll band.

Bringing the set to a conclusion was a 1-2-3-4 combination of first album closer and guitarist Michael Smith's ivory tickling "Away With The Stars", new track "Riddles" and Four Tops Motown hit "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" that although shows the dexterity and versatility of the 4 piece seemed to border on playing to the crowd rather than winning them over on their own steam, although this is small change and simply personal taste during an otherwise faultless set. Currently on tour across the UK, catch em' why you can.

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