Local purveyor of “gulch” rock (dryer than that desert variety) Jim Dead had a rare outing on Friday night at The state Bar. Accompanied by his head honcho, Craig Hughes on growling electric guitar he transformed this Glasgow cellar into a flyblown pueblo for an all too short set. With a song list fairly evenly balanced between the Ten Fires album and his recent I’m Not Lost E.P. Dead sang with a gravid authority while Hughes provided all manner of sonic embellishment ranging from spooky bottleneck to scattershot bursts of noise.
The songs from Ten Fires stood well on their own two feet without the rhythm section present with Hughes pulling out all of the stops particularly on the epic Untitled while Coffee and Cocaine was chilling in its intensity. From the I’m Not Lost E.P. (which Dead recorded with Hughes) Stealing A Mile was the standout, a perfect example of their musical simpatico as it swept over the audience like a dire wind, a dustbowl of despair amplified by Hughes’s menacing guitar rumblings. Although the gig was plagued by some chatterboxes at the bar this song seemed to silence all.
Dead has another gig in Glasgow at Pivo Pivo on 21st May and on the strength of this he really should be seen. His discs are all available here
Dead and Hughes were bookended by two other acts, Ryan Morecambe who has a neat early Dylan vibe about him and Firebugs, an Edinburgh based trio who have an attractive bluesy folk sound and when mandolin was employed even reminded us a little bit of Lindisfarne.
The evening was hosted by The Vagabond Social Clubwho have regular nights at The State Bar and if they are all as good as this then We’d recommend keeping an eye out for future events.