Howling Rev, live & acoustic, Slim Jims Liquor Store, Angel, London, April 1 2017

Words & Pictures : Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media

Celebrating a run through the years and with a list of bands to die for, the Live & Acoustic show from The Rev was initially supposed to be a one man affair with songs and words spread across a couple of hours. 

After admitting early on that performing this way was well outside of his comfort zone, the man who’s normally strapped behind an amped up electric guitar whilst shirtless and, more often than not, airborne, decided to gather a couple of friends and deliver the set as a three piece. 

The show was always going to be something different, thanks to a rather notable post from The Rev early on the Saturday afternoon confirming that “The sound engineer just electrocuted himself. #good start”

Neil “Snell” Eldridge, The Rev’s ex-band mate in former band Towers of London and fellow acoustic guitarist, Ricki Hall make up the trio as they blaze through 2 45 minute sets that err on the side of caution and contain a large number of classic rock covers to keep a typical Saturday night pub crowd entertained. 

Opening with ‘Go With the Flow’ by Queens of the Stone Age, just to add a little bit of spice to the tried and tested pub standards, whatever or whoever made Rev think he couldn’t sing and play, delivering the whole shebang as a front man was wrong. Kasabian’s ‘Shoot The Runner’ follows with Snell’s solitary drum (covered in a black towel to muffle the sound and bring it to the same level as the acoustic guitars) taking an immense battering. With a wide smile on his face, it’s clear Snell is at least one of the three loving every minute.

The interplay between Hall and Rev with the two acoustic guitars is perfect. The added guitar from Ricki Hall adds depth and feeling to all of the songs on offer and allows The Rev to utilise his Gibson and really let rip. As jaws hit the ground thanks to some of the solos he’s able to pull off the exercise in choosing the right guitar for the shows was definitely time well spent.

Sing along hit after hit follows and warms the crowd nicely and the temperature in the venue began to rise accordingly, the only breeze afford to those at the front by the stage coming from the hundred of bras donated by female visitors looking for a free drink (offered upon donation of said bra and not for any other reasons!)

The Ramones and Chuck Berry get a look in as does one of The Rev’s former bands Towers of London with their infamous ‘Fuck It Up’ getting the acoustic treatment. Playing with a smile and tongue firmly in cheek, the three of them almost seemed to be willing each other as the lyrics spilled forth;

” But then you go and
Fuck it up, fuck it up”

Thankfully no such cocks ups occurred, and a few more tracks including a touch of Skynyrd and Tina Turner (yep – although actually it’s Creedence Clearwater Revival but I prefer Tina’s version of Proud Mary) drew us to the half way mark.

After the obligatory mid evening break for rock star ciggies and beers, the three troubadours return to the stage, opening with Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. 

Dotted throughout tracks from The Doors, The Ramones, The Clash, G’n’R (Sweet Child on an acoustic guitar… kick yourself for not being there that night!), The Undertones and more, we get a couple of very special moments indeed. 

‘Perfect’, taken from current band Hey! Hello! and their second ‘…. Too’ album, is a real treat and possibly the first time the track that The Rev sings on the album has been performed to the public as an acoustic piece. Missed it? Well, go on then, here it is. 

A blistering version of The Howling’s ‘Pitbull’ also makes an appearance which neatly segues into Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. It felt as much a night to entertain the crowd as it did a run through of The Rev’s personal record collection. 

If you missed it, unlucky. If you were there, you know it was a real treat. Let’s hope for a few more in the near future. 

SETLIST

SET 1:

Go With The Flow / Shoot The Runner / Don’t Matter / Bad Moon rising / Blitzkreig Bop / Hard To Handle / Johnny Be Goode / Fuck It Up / Into The Fire / Sweet Home Alabama / Proud Mary 

SET 2: 

Folsom Prison Blues / People Are Strange / KKK Took My Baby Away / Perfect / Teenage Kicks / I Fought The Law / Pitbull / Creep / Jumpin’ Jack Flash / Sweet Child ‘O Mine / 

REV Howling Rev, live & acoustic, Slim Jims Liquor Store, Angel, London, April 1 2017

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