Beatnik Hurricane at The Flat Iron, Anfield (31 Oct ’14)

A guest blog from Ewok, as previously published on RAWK

The ‘music offer’ in the pubs of Anfield on a Friday evening is definitely not challenging. There may be every karaoke variety you desire, or chronic covers bands to fill your boots with, but the diversity grinds to a shuddering halt of no redemption at this point. It is therefore a moment of great joy to skip down the road to The Flat Iron in anticipation of watching some ‘proper’ Rock and Roll, R n B or whatever else Beatnik Hurricane have to offer.

The initial ‘recce’ isn’t too good. It looks like that bit in “The Blues Brothers” when they play the Country and Western Club, kind of out of place. The punters, landlady and locals are friendly but the juxtaposition with the band couldn’t be more extreme. The suited and booted lead singer in the dark shades looks every part the rock and roll god. The parka-clad trumpet player looks like he has come here to hide having just robbed his instrument from Cash Converters on Breck Road. The drummer and the bassist look like they have been recruited from And And And…

However, it is soon apparent they share something in common, they can play – “and could they play”. In such a scenario it would be sensible for the band to win the locals over with a couple of popular quick covers to get the punters on side (most of whom, on the male side, look like they had a bad paper round) before throwing in a few of your own and going from there. But that’s not going to happen as the Hurricane open with “Corrance Temrad” – it lasts an age, a proper long blues-driven beat which has the conscious, barely conscious and undead (yup its Hallowe’en) nodding, tapping and stomping along.

What do they sound like? A blues band, you know you are watching something special. It is a joy to behold, the band quickly slip into “Barnsley Tuesday”, a slower more brutal turn. The fact the band are able to take this audience with them on the journey cannot be over stated. No one leaves, but more punters arrive to hear “Son Of A Gun” by The Las (there is a link but you can go figure). I wish I could tell you what they sound like as they crash in too “Immense Anemone” but to be honest I am not sure. At some point it all goes a bit Nick Cave as the singer screams “ketamine, ketamine” into my ear – yes we are literally that close. I can kill a few reference points – they aren’t punk, pop, disco, hardcore, rap or grime.

This is quality music, soulful, rhythmic, blues. I have no idea what they were singing about, I have no idea what
their plan is, but when a bunch of talented, visceral musicians play their own stuff, their own way and entertain, keep and get an encore demand from the punters of a pub in Anfield on a Friday night you know you have witnessed something special.

Here’s a thought for all those bands playing the ‘cultural quarter’, get out of town and come to and musically regenerate the pubs and clubs of north Liverpool for those of us who don’t live in the village of ‘Oz’ which is the city centre.

No, this review doesn’t help, it doesn’t tell you what they sound like, but to be honest I think you are better just going along to see them – we will all get something different from this tight, vibrant, poptastic sensation.
Here’s a regeneration plan. Every band who play any major venue in town have to do a ‘fan’ gig, ‘secret’ gig or warm-up in a north Liverpool pub. That should bring the punters, the money and the sustainability.

Beatnik Hurricane – I salute you.

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