Tag Archives: Spin Doctors

Spin Doctors – Garage, London – 22nd February 2014

The Spin Doctors were excellent at Fairfield Halls on Friday night; but they went to a completely different level at the Garage in Highbury on Saturday.

 Poor old Dodgy provided the support act (Dodgy of ‘Good Enough’ fame) and they were…..erm…..dodgy; for whatever reason, they struggled with technical difficulties and were heckled by a couple of drunk idiots behind me.  It was an awful shame because I still remember buying their album ‘Free Peace Sweet’ back in the day.  They’ll be back (I hope so).

 The Spin Doctors came on early, about 8pm and absolutely smashed the life out of the very same tracks that I heard them perform just 24 hours previously; however, this time, each had subtle extended sections and ad-libbing.  Absolutely awesome.

 It was very cool, hearing so many people sing along to hits like ‘Cleopatra’s Cat’, ‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’ and ‘Two Princes’; but I was absolutely over the moon that they played ‘About A Train’ and ‘Refrigerator Car’ after placing a request with the band the previous night in Croydon.   Both tracks were exceptionally good renditions of their album counterparts and I really hope that they end up as bootlegs somewhere?!

 Speaking of which.  Here’s my badly miked up attempt at recording ‘What Time Is It?’.

The band clearly loved the more intense crowd at the Garage; that’s not to say they didn’t enjoy the atmosphere at Croydon, it was merely that the Garage was absolutely buzzing?  In fact, it reminded me of being back in the States?  Dirty old blues bar, Jack Daniels, rednecks.  Almost……

Mark White destroyed his bass parts, Eric Schenkman showed why he STILL at the top of his game, Aaron Comess seemed possessed by John Bonham on the skins; what can I say about Chris Barron that hasn’t been said already?  Awesome.

10 out of 10.  Go see them.

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Spin Doctors – Croydon Fairfield Halls – 21st February 2014

I did a very surreal thing on Friday; I met the ORIGINAL Spin Doctors after their Croydon gig at the Fairfield Halls! Blimey?!?

The Spin Doctors came on after the very energetic and entertaining ‘Brothers of the Mothershovel’ support act; the brothers are a decent bunch of local lads who just about stomped the stage to pieces whilst going about their set.

The brothers in funky hats impressed me so much with their mixture of folk and ragtime swing, I bought their album (Nicely produced it is too!). Hopefully it’ll pay for new strings after the guitarist broke a few during his vigorous strumming!

I last saw the Spin Doctors at the Islington O2 academy on the 30th of January 2013; the main thing I love about seeing the band live is that you never experience the same gig twice! They are an exceptional jam band who love to improvise and it’s a privilege seeing them ply their trade at such small and intimate gigs.

They covered ‘Revolution’ by the Beatles this time which was very cool, before belting out the vast majority of their most excellent back catalogue along AND some tracks from their recent album ‘If The River Was Whiskey’. Oh yes, and the Goodies inspired ‘Everybody Loves String’ improv piece! Genius.

Waiting for my turn to meet the band afterwards, I was extremely nervous. What do you say to Gods? Do they like small talk?

I eventually stumped up the courage to walk over to Eric Schenkman and ask why they didn’t play the excellent ‘About a Train’ from their new album? The track absolutely grooves with lazy blues attitude and I was disappointed not to hear it “Yeah, we’ll do it tomorrow!” came his reply.

What?!? Are you for real?!? I thought it was just lip service, you know, banter?

So I cheekily asked if they’d play ‘Refrigerator Car’ as well (also absent from the Croydon gig) as it’s one of my favourites. “Yeah we’ll play that too!” said Eric. What a genuinely lovely fella he was though, chatting to anyone who popped over, trusting fans to hold his customised telecaster?!? A class act.

It’s one thing for a DJ to take requests, but a world class band? I think I was probably beaming so much, I’m surprised the smile didn’t cut my head in half.

I eventually made it to talk to lead singer Chris Barron after briefly ‘chatting’ to Mark White (bass supremo) about his love of BBC comedy ‘Are You Being Served’ which was very surreal; Chris and I chatted about the new album while he enjoyed a pint before reiterating that they would play the tracks I mentioned to Eric before we all went our separate ways around midnight. Huzzah!

It was an utterly, utterly, utterly bizzare experience that I’ll never forget; thankfully for my nerves, the band are extremely down to Earth and they genuinely seemed to enjoy chatting to everyone who stayed behind.

Good thing I had bought tickets for the following night at the Garage in Highbury and Islington eh?!

Refrigerator Car – Spin Doctors – Live at the O2 Academy in Islington

Refrigerator Car, The Spin Doctors answer to Led Zeppelins Moby Dick!

Had to post this as it’s the video for one of my FAVOURITE tracks of ALL time; and I was fucking there man!!!  Dave and I were literally standing by Mark White in the bottom left, front row!

Fast forward to 9:50 and witness the awesomeness between Mark White, Aaron Comess and Eric Schenkman!

Refrigerator Car – Live in Islington, London

The Spin Doctors – O2 Academy Islington

I think I’ve reached that age? I remember my parents going through the same phase when I was but a wee nipper; my Mum and Dad would take me to go and see bands that defined earlier periods of their lives; 50’s and 60’s legends like Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, Jerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers……an endless list.

Last night, I saw one of my favourite bands, The Spin Doctors, at the 02 Academy in Islington; they were FUCKING AWESOME.

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I was 15 when The Spin Doctors released their ‘A Pocket Full Of Kryptonite’ album; I eventually bought the CD a couple of months later (having turned 16) from the Sound and Vision department at Boots, I even got a cheeky 10% staff discount back then! Alas, I digress! I played that album to death!

Along with Primus and Presidents of the USA, the Spin Doctors defined my teenage years with their unique take on alternative rock and funky blues standards. At the time, Brit Pop was in full flow and dominated the radio waves in England; however, I felt more of a connection to The Spin Doctors than the poncy glam peacock bands from Camden Town.

The Spin Doctors played gutsy stuff, bluesy, funky and HAPPY! I don’t think there would have been quite so much self-harming in the UK had The Spin Doctors been a mainstream band in the UK!?!

David (who attended his first gig ever!) and I got to the venue for ‘early doors’ and I unashamedly took up a place in the front row, eager to get a glimpse of my idols do their thang.

I’ve never been front row at a decent sized gig before and found myself standing 4ft away from bass supremo Mark White whilst he oozed out the funk; it was hilarious watching him indulge the incredibly drunk tart who stood next to me with her constant attempts at reaching out to him!

The experience of Aaron Comess on drums was mighty to behold indeed; a veritable powerhouse on the skins, crisp, tight and clinical.

I genuinely felt like a teenager as I watched them utterly stomp through their set; I was not sure if Chris Barron (Vocals) would still sound the way he used to before the gig, but boy was I wrong to doubt him!!

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His pitch perfect dulcet tones lead the way whilst he commanded the audience with such a mischievous stage presence complete with his trademark moves and swaggering about!!! Oh, and fantastic banter with the crowd!

Watching one of my guitar idols, Eric Shenkman, utterly destroy everything in his path with a Gibson SG and Flying V will be something I’ll never forget. Words can’t describe the respect I have for his talent, sound and ability as a musician.

My first memory of the group was seeing Chris Barron sodding about in a big woolly hat, singing ‘Two Princes’ in a video on MTV.

So it was rather amusing seeing someone from the audience throw their own woolly hat onto the stage in an attempt to get Chris Barron to wear it during the rocky rendition of ‘Two Princes; only for Chris to kick it aside and almost say ‘Get a life douchbag!’ with his body language.

I can’t emphasise how great the performance was last night, four guys at the very top of their game bashing out fantastic versions of old and new material with absolute ease; I urge you to go and see them because you simply won’t see a better live band at the moment!

Oh, and buy their new album “If The River Was Whiskey”!!!