Seasick Steve, Live at the Thekla Social, Bristol, 17 April 2007

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See Also: http://www.seasicksteve.com/

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Filled Star - Denotes One PointFilled Star - Denotes One PointFilled Star - Denotes One PointFilled Star - Denotes One PointFilled Star - Denotes One Point by tom on 18 Apr 2007

Seasick Steve arrives on stage from the wrong direction. Guitar in hand he plays his way through the crowd, reaches the stage, clocks the fans at the front dressed in Seasick Steve outfits, smiles and looks slightly bewildered, then begins a set that totally rocks.

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm at a gig or a standup comedy night. Between tracks he cracks jokes that are genuinely funny, and the crowd can't help but truly warm to him.

Performed live the songs eclipse their album versions to go from great to outstanding. The sound is full, rich, and needs no further accompaniment; Steve has it all, but still gets us singing along to Things Go Up, and by the end he's up on his feet in a frenzy of hobo rap. Weird, but very, very good.

Things get a little bit tetchy when the people at the back keep chatting. Steve is looking pissed off, the crowd at the front can tell, and the chatting's ruining the mood. This goes on for a couple of tracks and then he loses it, stops playing, gets up and tells them to shut up. It mostly works, and the crowd applaud, but you can feel the adrenaline as he finishes the track looking furious.

This is not a gig lacking emotion. When Steve closes with an awesome Dog House Boogie we hear the less censored version of his first 14 years. Seeing him steady himself to share the grim details shows how real these experiences are. After a few more bars he manages it, and goes out with a bang. It's all very, very good y'all.

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