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Thurs 7th July: The Vandoliers + Pheobe & Philippa – Jumpin Hot @ Cluny2
Another lovely evening & a decent summer crowd down in The Cluny2 basement awaited the northeast debut of Fort Worth’s finest cowpunk’s The Vandoliers. Opening up for them, in a quiet old time country/ folk mode, were the local duo Phoebe and Phillipa. It was quite a brave selection as they hark back to simpler bluegrass /Appalachian times with just their fiddle & guitar. With lovely vocals & fingerpicking tunes they eased the crowd in very nicely. . The strictly covers set included the crisp guitar picking Deep River Blues, an exquisite The Red Rocking chair and a fine version of the Dylan classic Down In easy chair.
This quiet introduction could not have prepared us for the high energy, thumping oomph of the crazed sextet The Vandoliers from Texas. A lively bunch of musicians you would be hard to find & on the last night of their first ever UK tour. After three times being lockdown rescheduled, they were determined to have a good time. The singer off mike began by apologising, for this not being a quiet country show and more punk rock, & off they went. To be fair, everyone was finding no problem with that. So 90 min’s of country punk mayhem ensured with, would you believe, a mariachi style trumpet man & a fiddle player leading the chase. This was displayed in all the standout tracks for the evening, such as “16 years” and the gracious lyric’s “If been working for 16 years, I’m gonna make it, if it takes another sixteen years”. Their outlaw attitude would best be described as, when Elvis came back in the building, met Bruce Springsteen and played hard core rock and roll down at a Texas country shack. What an explosive package… the band’s other standouts for me being the hauntingly good “Wild West “ gruff & charming “Cigarettes In The Rain” & not forgetting the turbo charged encore of Proclaimers “500 miles” that had three members of the band left with no tops on, it was that sizzling hot. Well done Jumpin Hot Club, a great night from start to finish.

Juan Fitzgerald