The Cambridge Junction
I could feel the bass notes pulsing through my plastic glass. There is something ‘A T-Rex is approaching and it’s making my drink ripple’ about Mark Lanegan’s voice on record – live it’s even more Jurassic Park. His tone is often referred to as ‘gravelly’ but that doesn’t begin to do it justice. You feel it in your eyeballs, in your belly, and in the toes of your boots; it’s an elemental noise. At 6’5” tall, with the hair of Jon Bon Jovi (non-poodle era) and the face of Tom Waits’ better-looking brother, he’s an imposing sight, although skinnier than I expected. And he doesn’t fuck about. On stage, straight into the The Gravedigger’s Song (first line, “With pirhana teeth, I’ve been dreaming of you…”) and we were off. There’s little between-song chat, just a man on a mission, like a preacher sermonising at the gates of Hell, launching haunting song after song, intensity levels set to 11 and rising. It was a perfectly-paced set, placing the brooding brilliance of Hit The City and One Way Street early on, with his excellent band notching up the guitars and synths and beats mid-set (Riot In My House proving a wild and woozy wig out), and even throwing in a white hot version of Joy Division’s Atmosphere as an encore. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a live gig. I’m glad I picked this one. It was monumental.
An appreciative, friendly mix. More balding pates than whippersnapper manes. Quite a few women. Hardly a mobile phone to be seen – a bunch of people enjoying the moment. The Junction is a fine place to see a band: large enough for a good atmosphere but small enough to easily find a place to stand where short arses like me can see.
It made me think..
Support act and collaborator Duke Garwood returned to the stage to join in with the encore songs, having washed and blow-dried his hair since his earlier appearance, his sudden bouffantness leading me to rechristen him Duke Bee Gee. I also thought Mark Lanegan’s talented keyboardist/guitarist bore more than a passing resemblance to Billy Ray Cyrus. My name is Drakeygirl and I am a lookilikee-aholic.