The Excitements returned to the daftest wee country in the world a couple of weeks ago. I’d missed them earlier in the year. This isn’t an act that should be consigned to a Sauchiehall Street basement. This is a big show that requires a stage that is at least 4 times as high as this one. They would appeal to a wide swathe of people if those individuals actually knew they existed.
It’s difficult to get people out to shows but this is surely compounded when there’s no visible sign of posters. Are we to assume that everybody checks websites? Er, that would be a major ASS-umption that is literally not happening. But the criminally underattended show didn’t hamper the energy level and I’m pretty sure that word of mouth – and maybe a Friday or Saturday – show should determine a bigger audience next time.
Anyway, them Excitement types more than live up to their name. Utterly unphased that the joint wasn’t exactly jumping in terms of bodies it sure was by the time they hit their stride. Barcelona’s primo R’n’B powerhouse tore it up in a fashion of a true showband. If it hadn’t been for the Alvin brothers hitting town the next day then I would have gone to the Edinburgh show too.
In keeping with the notion of the road going on forever, and maybe a wee bit beyond that, the last few weeks have presented several revisitations of my past. All of them good. It makes me feel pretty damn fortunate despite what you might read from my actual fizzog.
30 + years ago, I met Dave and Phil Alvin when Art Fein was managing The Blasters and also The Cramps. I’m happy to say that it’s a friendship that has endured the years and seeing them back together with The Guilty Ones on a stage in Glasgow was nothing short of phenomenal. I completely plotzed during the encore. It was like the roadhouse in Twin Peaks. When they broke into the instrumental section that was “So Long Baby Goodbye” it was like time froze and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. No drink or any other substance was taken. It was like watching a stop motion film. When all the instruments blew back in, it kind of jarred me back to pretending I had something in my eye. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t kidding anyone at that point. I can’t say what a privilege it is to see something like this. So many acts just go through the motions but this was fiercely life-affirming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Between needing to be up to go to the salt mine early the next morning and heading for Spain at stupid o’ clock the day after, I didn’t see them afterwards. I had also been through the emotional wringer but I don’t think I would have had it any other way. We’d all witnessed one of the greatest sets played by anyone ever. It was even better than the Opry show and the venue was excellent too. Dave reckons they could do with some ramps to get the gear on stage but apart from that...