Cannibal Monkeys! – Jeffrey Lewis / The Burning Hell / Randolph’s Leap live

Jeffrey Lewis / The Burning Hell / Randolph’s Leap – Clark’s, Dundee – 5th September 2017

Given that the tour is long finished there’s not a lot of point to this review. But for the sake of completeness here it is.

I’d regrettably missed Jeffrey Lewis’s full band tour last year so was keen to catch this solo show. And it was certainly worth the effort even if he only played one song that I’d actually heard before!

Mr Lewis was surprisingly quiet early on but once he started talking between songs, there really was no stopping him. What we got was an acoustic guitar and lots of words – and lots of memorable songs. The highlight was probably his blast through ‘Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror’ but there were plenty of contenders.

There was even a couple of parody numbers – the Searchers’ ‘Needles and Pins’ like you’ve never heard it before whilst Cyndi Lauper’s MOR hit had morphed into ‘True Tax Returns’.

Most of the songs were presented solo but a couple benefitted from short films, the backing for which I presume came from a loop pedal as Jeffrey crouched at the front of the stage to give prominence to the visuals.

For the final song in the main set he was backed by Mathias from the Burning Hell on new song and instant classic ‘Cannibal Monkeys’.

Engaging and entertaining throughout, I’ll look forward to future shows.

Support for the entire tour came from Mathias and Ariel from the Burning Hell, who were completely new to me. Their charming, gentle songs contained a wry look at the world and actually provided quite a nice bridge between Adam Ross’s opening set and the headliner. However, with a guitar and clarinet, they outgunned the opposition in instrumentation at least!

Adam from Randolph’s Leap did a short set which mixed old songs and new songs with a couple of old ones in new tunings (to confuse himself!) for good measure.

Without the crash and bang of the full band Leap it was the songs that were the focus of attention and they stood up to this scrutiny very well indeed.

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Both Jeffrey and the Burning Hell return to the U.K. later in the year.

Jeffrey Lewis is playing with Los Bolts next month and the tour starts with 3 dates at the Lexington in London on 2nd and 3rd October. The tour reaches The Saramago Cafe, Glasgow on Monday 9th October before concluding in Oxford on Friday 13th. Jeffrey and band then head to the Continent for a further 10 dates. Full dates here.

The Burning Hell seem to be constantly touring at the moment but return to the Hug and Pint in Glasgow on 21st November. Full dates here.

Cannibal monkeys …