Live Gig Review Credit: Anna Zurek
© Janice Issitt
Janice Issitt Photography
I have always envied those a bit who were able to see some of my favourite bands back when they were starting out and playing small pubs and venues in the 70s and 80s. It made me wonder what it would be like. Do not get me wrong, I have been to a few gigs where I had a feeling that it could be one of those moments to look back on in the future when the bands made it. But never before has it been as mind-blowing and magical as it was at yesterday’s gig, Reignwolf at the Old Blue Last, near Old Street.
Reignwolf are one of the few bands that Rolling Stone magazine recommended as a “new artist you need[ed] to know” in January 2014 and yesterday proved that the word had spread quickly. The show which was held upstairs in a small, intimate pub had sold out and the big crowd of around 150 people could not be more excited to welcome the band on stage – and only the band without any supporting acts.
The gig was mesmerizing and something I have never seen in London before. The band, the crowd, the venue – everything united into something magical and out of this world. The atmosphere was just incredible.
Imagine Woodstock taking place in a small pub, Jimi Hendrix’s performances in particular. A bluesy sounding voice and guitar but instead of having the guitar set on fire, played with teeth or behind his back, Jordan Cook reinvented it with his own personal touch.
While playing his bluesy riffs and solos on his semi-acoustic guitar, he not only sang while holding the mic from time to time (or letting a very happy fan hold it) but Jordan also kept a steady beat using the kick drum in front of him and occasionally jumped on it. Or on the speaker in front of him or even into the crowd. At one point the band put the kick drum down in front of the audience and had Jordan sitting on it, playing Reignwolf’s mesmerizing, catchy melodies, while the crowd around him went wild, dancing and moving their heads to the beat.
Then he would jump back on stage, switch to playing a small mandolin or his bassist’s guitar (yes, electric guitar!) and use his drummer’s hi-hat cymbals or snare drum.
Now imagine all that combined with a punk band’s raw energy, jumping around and going nuts on stage which not only came from Jordan but also his bassist David ‘Stitch’ Rapaport and drummer Joseph Braley. Add a little bit of Kurt Cobain’s or Jim Morrison’s captivating charm to it and you have a mind-blowing performance that animated a London crowd like I have never seen before.
If you have not heard of these guys yet, make sure to check them out – especially if you get a chance to see them live. You will thank me once they get to a stage where they will fill whole arenas in London which, believe me, they will soon.