Usually I get to pick what I review. This (partly) explains why you might sometimes feel I am an overrating bastard. To counter that I accept my portion of homework from our grand commander. When he assigned me to review The Claudettes’ previous album Dance Scandal At The Gymnasium! two years ago I was pleasantly surprised that my homework was such a great album.
Fast forward to a month or so ago. As I was preparing breakfast my girlfriend put on a random spotify list. At one time during this play-list I exclaimed: WHO IS THAT? IS THIS THE CLAUDETTES? I tend to speak in caps lock more than usual when I get excited. It was The Claudettes and it was a new album. I immediately grabbed my phone and sent out a very polite email to the earlier mentioned grand commander stating: GIMME THAT CLAUDETTES ALBUM! PLEASE! You see, I am polite, even when I get very excited.
Not much later I received a promo for High Times In The Dark and I was as happy as a little kid in the candy store. Since that memorable day I have played the record quite often. It is the right record at the right time. To me, this is the kind of band that offers some escapism, one that I appreciate even more in today's crisis. Instead of worrying about a lot of things troubling our minds I am transported to a dark pub.
This is the kind of pub that doesn’t pay too much attention to non-smoking rules, so the air is filled with smoke. Not that kind of cheap cigarettes-smoke, but rather the smell of good cigars fills the air. I hang out in said pub with some of my good friends. We are discussing the great questions of life and find answers to all of ‘m. We all know all too well our answers will be wiped from our memories tomorrow. We know this, because, against our better judgement we are not drinking a beer. No, this occasion asks for a good whiskey. Every now and then we interrupt our discussion to pay attention to the band that is playing in the background.
These interruptions become more and more frequent as time progresses and we realize that this is a band that should not play in a pub like this. No, they are a bit too good for that. Demanding too much of our attention. The sound in this pub is amazing by the way. Every instrument is clearly audible. The rhythm section clearly knows what they are doing, but instead of stealing the show they allow the piano-player and the singer the spotlight.
Let’s back up a bit. I know, this time shifting thing might be confusing, but you've seen movies that go back and forth even more than this, so stick with me. After a couple of craft beers we all decide this occasion demands whisky. Once we get to our second glass the main band of the evening is announced. The band introduces itself with a simple: "hey, we are The Claudettes, we play garage cabaret". Whatever that means. Once they start their set-list with “Bad Babe, Losing Touch” you start to get an idea what they mean. You yourself would have described it differently. A strange blues punk hybrid perhaps? It doesn’t do the band justice but it gets the point across. More or less.
The piano sets the tone, but by the time the band starts their third song “I Swear To God I Will” you know you are in love with the singer. What a voice! She seduces, she entrances. You realise the conversation has died, as you are all watching the band. The world's problems and your brilliant solutions will still be there tomorrow, you think. You ask the guy at the next table if he knows the band. “Yeah” he says, while taking a puff from one the biggest cigars you have ever seen, “they are about to release their fifth album. If you ask me, and you are clearly doing that, it is their best ever. This is the good life, isn’t it?”.
All you can do is agree with the chum. They are in fact doing so good it feels a bit like a cold shower when they end their show after only eleven songs. Oh man,this rips me from my daydream every time. Good thing I can just push play again and transport myself back again. And again. And again. Hope to see you there soon!
9.0 / 10
Johnny Iguana (The Claudettes) SPB: How did the band come to combine the different musical styles that make the Claudettes so unique? Johny: I had ...
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