The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
ONE THOUSAND YEARS ALBUM LAUNCH LIVE REVIEW FEB 1 2014

ONE THOUSAND YEARS LIVE AT THE ODD FELLOW FREMANTLE FEBRUARY 1 2014

ONE THOUSAND YEARS

with DATURA + TOM FISHER
THE ODD FELLOW, FREMANTLE
1 FEBRUARY 2014

The Odd Fellow (formerly known as the Norfolk Basement) is a great subterranean spot transformed tonight into airless part of Mexico, with a new bar with an impressive wall of booze (though average tequilas) it’s a great place for a relatively intimate album launch. Going with a Mexican theme for the night, 1000 years have Mexi-music piping out before the show starts, and a decent sized and swelling crowd are sipping on their beers in anticipation.

The first support is rather fun in a low-key acoustic troubadour way. It’s a little dour to begin with till Tom Fisher loosens up and his dusty acoustic Americana begins to take hold. We prefer the funkier louder stuff best of all, but it’s a great way to warm up the evening.

 

Any band that puts Blues and Boogie masters Datura on before them must be brimming in confidence, as these Perth veterans are so damned good they would put most acts to shame.

 

Opening song ‘End of Time’ is enough to convince almost everyone here, but just to be sure they put together a set of gems, from bluesier fare to heads-down blues-boogie. There’s a new song about ‘shopping’ then there’s another maybe called ‘Out on the street’ that has a real groove to it. At times the band is simple blues rock, at others there’s a heavier feel to the riffs and a ‘Stoner’ feel to them. When a band has songs in their repertoire like ‘Fools Gold Rush’ it’s a crime they don’t yet have an album out, though we hear it is on the way.

 

Dressed like Mexican bandits 1000 Years have a real Black Crowes vibe about them live and despite the confines of a rather small stage at points in the evening they manage to shoe-horn even more onto it – from horns to backing singers.


 
If you’ve already heard the album ‘Get Your Rabbit’s Foot and Run’ then live 1000 Years is pretty faithful to that sound. Songs like ‘Pandora’ even somehow manage to sound bigger on the live stage with an energy all of its own.

 

It’s not simply a tread through the album though, tonight 100 Years mix it up, forsaking gentler numbers like ‘Helsinki Rain’ for the more rocking staples from their catalogue – ‘Mr Spaceman’ working particularly well, with some great harp.  

 

There’s a great ‘Mellow  Down Easy’ start to ‘Voodoo’ which in itself is a great blues rocker, before we’re told that as the album took so long to make they now have a whole heap of other songs for us. Sadly they don’t name the first of them, but it starts with their heaviest riff yet and might well be called ‘Open Your Mind’.


Christopher Boyd has a great voice and 1000 Years sound pretty tight as a band, but the guitar and the feel is the lifeblood of this band and though it might not be perfected yet you sense a band that is  searching and driving forwards looking for that illusive ‘sound’.

 

The Odd Fellow is a room with a great sound and the mix is beautifully balanced, and that is never more evident than when Byron joins the band on sax and Cactus on trumpet. The band itself has a great Black Crowes feel and getting the audience on stage with cowbell, maracas etc is a nice touch and elevates the party feel. The dismantling of the black skull piñata that’s been sat on the front of the stage all along works well, built into the jam.

 

There are also some inspired if not original covers – the slowed version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ is just what you want from a cover – it retains the feel of the original but the band adds their own stamp. ‘Tumbling Dice’ with band friend Kate on backing vocals is rather more tradesman-like, and it’s odd to hear a band playing an original set play two covers in a row.

 

Perhaps our highlight of the night though is closer ‘Soul Kitchen’ the last track on the album, and it’s brought to life with some extremely soulful backing vocals, and amazing horns. It’s a great set, by a fine band on a great night in Freo. If we have one minor gripe it’s that there’s no ‘Helsinki Rain’ or some more of their expansive blues. What set’s 100 Years apart though is their songs and the whole ‘collective’ vibe which sets the stage alight. This is a band everyone should see, and one that I’m sure can only get better with age.

 

by Jo Rockpit February 2014

 

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