Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Strypes "Hard to Say No"

Well, well, well... (as the late great R.L. Burnside used to say...).... our favorite teenaged Irish retro R&B band is happily proving to be more than a one-hit wonder and one-note tunesmiths.

Although they masterfully (almost scarily) handle classic Mississippi Delta Blues (channeled via the early 1960s London R&B scene), there was a question as to whether they could write their own material or perform stuff which wasn't strictly Da Blues.

This latest release (see below) should put the last of those fears at bay.

We first caught their catchy cover of "Can't Judge a Book".

They looked great. They played great. But could they write? Yes they can. Can they play something other than classic Blues? Yes they can. They are all excellent, but guitarist Josh McClorey is a particular stand-out. He inspires confidence that he could handle playing almost anything and playing it well.

I caught them a few weeks back in San Francisco during their first U.S. tour. Although I didn't care for the venue (or the crowd), they put on a great show. Wish I had gotten down to the L.A. show...

Of course the kicker is that none of them, still, can get served a drink (legally) in America. I went by San Francisco's Last Call, owned by Irish music fanatic Kevin, before the show. Kevin couldn't make the show and I was going to see if the band wanted to go to the bar after the show, but then I realized they are all still under-age for drink (in America).

A bunch of Irish teenagers covering songs written by and for middle-aged African-Americans sounds like a disaster in the making or at the very least a terrible joke. (Needless to say, it helps that they are using superlative source material.) The Strypes manage to pull it off, with gusto, class, sass, and swerve.

If you missed the first U.S. tour, fear not.... the good news is, they are coming back to the U.S. pretty soon!

10 - NASHVILLE, TN - High Watt - TICKETS
11 - MEMPHIS, TN - 1884 Lounge - TICKETS
18 - NEW YORK, NY - Bowery Ballroom - TICKETS
20 - ALLSTON, MA - Great Scott - TICKETS
21 - MONTREAL, QC - La Sala Rossa - TICKETS
22 - TORONTO, ON - Virgin Mobile Mod Club - TICKETS
24 - CHICAGO, IL - Subterranean - TICKETS
25 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Triple Rock Social Club - TICKETS
27 - SEATTLE, WA - The Crocodile - TICKETS
28 - PORTLAND, OR - Holocene - TICKETS
29 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Bottom of the Hill - TICKETS
31 - LOS ANGELES, CA - El Rey Theatre - TICKETS

Here's their new song "Hard to Say No"....

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