Trilogies are all the rage these days, a bit of a nasty hobbit I think but here’s Blabber’n’Smoke jumping on the three piece bandwagon with our third post on The Rulers Of The Root within the last fortnight. This flurry of activity was occasioned by the release of the band’s debut album, Porky Dreams which was given an official launch at the Southside’s Glad Cafe on Saturday. A packed venue saw the cafe’s staff running around looking for extra seating and a bit of a log jam at the bar, the only standing space available. Either the Rulers have a hell of a lot of family and friends or that the lure of picking up the album for a cut price one night only deal was too tempting an offer to refuse.
Fired up by the very enthusiastic crowd the band turned in a stellar set with the majority of the songs plucked from the album while others hinted at a fine follow up. Singer Patrick Gillies was on great form with his bagful of props put to good use as he careened through the rousing I’m Spartacus and bellowed mightily on the piratical Rose Of Jericho. With Mick Murphy and Chris Quinn anchoring the sound guitarist John Palmer slashed and burned throughout, his guitar razor sharp with some fantastic Wilco Johnson like fury on I’m Spartacus. Cat Fur was a highlight with its Beefheart growling while I’ll Be Your Doctor If You’ll Be My Nurse came across like some bawdy lovechild of Boris Pickett and Ian Dury. As befits a special gig some guests were invited up to join in the musical mayhem with Palmer’s wife, Fiona, playing ukulele on the slinky voodoo of Colon Man while their daughter, Lucy, added some haunting harmonies to the cowboy lope along of Charlie. Veteran Southside keyboard player, Alan French (AKA the Great White Shark according to Gillies), was also on hand to add his expertise to Charlie and the Bossa Nova groove of Sinaloa. Despite the oven like heat album favourites such as White On Rice, Maillot Jeune and Murdoch Browns were despatched with a degree of fury as the band all but melted on stage. The queue at the end of the show at the merch table was testament to the audience enjoyment.
We should mention the opening act, Edinburgh’s Kings Of Cheeze, an act new to me. Semi acoustic, they put on an energetic set that veered from Lena Lovitsch like vocals from singer Trish Murry to a kind of mutated Ry Cooder meets Pere Ubu contortions with guitarist Dave Gray moaning and whistling as he jerked out some fine jazzy guitar runs. An infectious bunch they were jumping up and down in their seats as they played and are well worth further investigation.