“The Hexmen mini-review: Saturday 30th June 2012, Dundee Blues Bonanza

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“The Hexmen mini-review: Saturday 30th June 2012, Dundee Blues Bonanza

On a bad night The Hexmen still make Dr Feelgood look like a Freemason’s picnic. On a good night they make your head ring. One way of telling whether a band is having a good time is to look at the bass player. Bass players tend to stand there and do it or, at worst, look like they’re auditioning for Spinal Tap. On 30th June 2012, at the Capitol in Dundee, Noz Easterbrook looked like he was interacting with the band, and looked like he was enjoying himself. That’s always a good sign.

From the moment that front-man George Hexman shouted “Skin up, you’re at yer aunties!” into the mic, you could tell we were in for a treat. “A fantastic band, this!” said a bloke next to me during a lull in the performance – a lull in the performance, when did that happen? – and he wasn’t wrong. We lost a lot of George’s vocals and, unfortunately, his phenomenal harmonica-playing due to a problem with some of the sound equipment, but the band still had people dancing at the front. In Dundee that’s an achievement.

One of the reasons the band’s performance was so tight and together must have been the return of guitarist Colin Guthrie. I had been looking forward to seeing and hearing him and I was impressed. Effortless, funky, disciplined, yet hard and flashy when he needed to be, his presence had lifted the band.
Wayne Dangerous is a bloody cracking drummer. Enough said. I swear he could play a luggage set, or a row of saucepans and packing cases and still drive a band along. If he hit those Gretsch tubs of his any harder they’d hit him back.

The material was what you come to expect. If they didn’t kick off with ‘Ridin on the L&N’, if they didn’t play ‘Homework’, ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘Treat Her Right’, or that version of ‘Gloria’ that starts all hippy-trippy and then goes mental, then you’d think something had gone wrong. I’d love to see them do their own take on Otis Redding’s ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’, done at the pace he did it on ‘Ready Steady Go’ in 1966*. I keep making suggestions, they keep coming back to Scotland, I’m not complaining.

Paul Thompson ” on The Scottish Blues Collective’s timeline.   ( ex Sandgrounder ! )



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