Broken Chanter / M. John Henry / Raveloe – The Hunter S Thompson, Dundee – Saturday 11th June 2022
This was my first visit to the basement formerly known as Drouthy’s in its new guise as the Hunter S Thompson.
Certainly, as a venue, things have improved as the booths/couches have been removed (with one exception) and a small stage added. Nothing’s been done about the size though (to be fair if that were even possible it would presumably be prohibitively expensive) and it’s therefore unlikely that you can get more than 50 people in with a direct view of the stage. There’s also for the first time in my experience a proper PA, but more about that later! (Lighting was terrible though)
The hope of getting to see Raveloe again after the Jill Lorean album launch turned to reality more quickly than we’d expected as Kim had replaced the unwell Leo Bargery of Mt Doubt as opener on the mini-tour at the last minute.
And second time around, she was more enjoyable than at the previous show. There were a couple of different songs compared to the Hug & Pint set and she’s got a nice way of holding an audience’s attention. I’m looking forward to the next recordings whenever they appear.
We never turn down a chance to see M. John Henry (regardless of how he’s billed) and Martin was in fine form at the show. He was quite chatty throughout a set drawn from across his song-writing career with ‘Mend’ the only release to be featured twice. In particular, it was nice to hear representation for the oft-overlooked solo debut in the shape of the rarely played, even at the time, ‘A Perfect Landing’.
The selection of tunes wasn’t obvious and pleasingly eclectic, with newer songs like the splendid De Rosa single ‘Mystery Walks’ and ‘Hey We’re Sorry’ mixing with older favourites like ‘The Engineer’ and ‘Spectres’.
Broken Chanter provided the only full band performance of the evening and David’s live band continues to evolve. The set-up for this show included a twin guitar line-up (David and Bart) and backing vocals from Gill Higgins (although I’m not sure if Gill might have also played keyboards if there had been room on the stage). The biggest change though came in the shape of an entirely different rhythm section with Lesley McLaren having taken over from Audrey Tait on drums and Tom on bass.
It was difficult to judge what difference this made since the sound wasn’t that great. At times the it was really clear, but David’s guitar did have the habit of submerging the songs at others. In part that seemed to be down to David’s effects pedals but what do I know? It was certainly a long way from the original acoustic BC shows.
The set was a ‘best of’ selection from the two albums to date but with more of a harder edge than at the launch show at the CCA. It speaks volumes therefore that the tunes not only survived this noise rock attack but thrived although the one-two closing punch of ‘So Long’ and ’Allow Yourself’ were perfect fits to the room’s acoustics.
As ever, David did a lot of speaking between songs. Whilst much of the chat used to be audience interaction, nowadays the chat does seem more structured as he’s incorporating a fair degree of story-telling into the set, all the time leaving scope for plenty of audience interaction.
So not the best sounding show ever overall but that didn’t dampen anyone’s enjoyment.
Apart from maybe the sound engineer’s. She overheard me talking to Martin afterwards saying it was nice there was a decent PA in the room when she interjected to bemoan the quality of the kit used! So take it from a professional – the sound at the HST could be better in future!
|M. John Henry||Broken Chanter|
|Hey We’re Sorry|
A Perfect Landing
It Helps To See You Hurt
You Send Me (Sam Cooke cover)
All Saints Day
Extinction Event Souvenir T-shirt
Should We Be Dancing?
Don’t Move To Denmark
A Sad Display
Fast Food, Parked Car
So Long (I’m Not Around)