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Live Review:

Lock Tavern, Camden, October 4th 2007
Review by G.P. Bennett, Photos (taken for our Dec 2006 interview with Honkeyfinger) by Andy Hall

Another little gem of a free entry gig arranged by the applaudable Bonanza Promotions - Presenting 'Countrier Than Thou' (Don't be so!)
These committed promoters, are one of a small bunch who actually care about the acts they put on, and more importantly, they care about the quality of the music. And tonight was no exception.

I’ve been to the Lock Tavern a couple of times before, but never realized the potential of the upstairs bar. There is a modest stage area (Think Green Note) and a nice little balcony section too (tonight there was a wedding party taking up the later). The venue also has the rarest of things on the gigging scene at the moment, in a “Ready Made Crowd!”.

The night was a little slow to get going and we’d already had 3 pints before Trent Miller & The Skeleton Jive took the stage. They were a simple act, 3 acoustic guitars and 3 vocals (I think 2 would have been adequate). But they had some catchy tunes and a really nice wonky country feel to their songs. A nice little opener if nothing more!

After a short break the unlikely figure of Honkeyfinger took the stage. Donned in Trucker baseball cap and a beard to rival Gandalph, he proceeded to get just the right amount of full on distortion through his amp, slapped his guitar on his lap and tested his bass drum and hi-hat.Then began the one man torrent that is a Honkeyfinger show.

To pigeonhole the style is impossible, it’s a complete amalgamation of various bits and bobs. There is the approach of the Fat Possum troubadours (RL Burnside, Kimbrough) coupled with the new Blues hero vibe of Seasick Steve. But there is also a very heavy element to his sound. Throat ripping vocals reminiscent of a more talented Ozzy Osbourne, or a Robert Plant with tonsillitis maybe? And some growling slide guitar work which sounds very little like anyone I have heard.  His pounding bass drum and hi-hat never dropped a beat either, and there was some interesting syncopation thrown in there which did nothing but show the audience his undoubted talent.

I don’t feel like I’m selling this very well, but believe me it was awesome. I took a friend along who I didn’t expect would really “get it” but by the end of the show he was raving about it more than me.

Songs and title weren’t important, it was the energy that kept everyone transfixed to the one man band. I’m definitely going to investigate further into his recorded stuff though.

All in all a top little show! As I have come to expect from the Bonanza Boys.

Read our Dec 2006 interview with Honkeyfinger >>

Our Decemeber 2006 interview with Honkeyfinger here