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Were you so inclined to build a nuclear reactor – a basic knowledge in the fissile properties of uranium (plutonium works equally well but tends to messy) is essential. When the uranium reaches a certain density it is known as ‘critical mass’ initiating a chain-reaction: releasing sufficient energy to instantly boil a kettle, your bollocks moments later and, indeed very soon after, the country as a whole (and a very large hole, at that) if – you don’t keep it in manageable separate lumps. In a similar vein, one has to question just what tonight’s promoter, Arthur, was thinking of when he decided to, effectively, double-headline both Misty’s Big Adventure and The Dirty Old Folkers on the same stage, on the same evening. Would it go nuclear? Would there be fall-out? Would a white-cat purr over the PA ‘Goodbye Hare & Hounds – You’re all going to die!’? Could this conundrum be unravelled? Read on.

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Agit-Folk, fiddle-Punk agent provocateurs, The Dirty Old Folkers, are a rakish ensemble of hoe-down, barn-dance alt/Billy swingers with a decided tendency to embed their lacerating soci-political lampooning lyrical rhymes firmly within the vernacular. Therefore, Jeremy Hunt is, well, you get the idea. As with Clegg, Toff-borne, Cameron and bonus-bleeding vampire bankers. They draw on an eclectic range of seemingly incongruous iconic melodies not least, ‘When You Can’t Find Your Old Man’, a title which, when you look at it, has subversive Donald McGill sea-side post-card saucy suggestions. They’re devilishly adept at sublimating all manner of willy-nilly ephemera. And, whilst on the subject of nil-by-willy, there was a pithy little eulogy on the pros and cons of pleasuring one’s self. The pros being it’s rather fun, the cons being when it involves priests and altar boys. A case of not so much bashing the Bishop but wanting shooting the hypocritical bastards who cover it up. Bless The DOF for grappling with these thorny issues. Panda and Death by now, of course, had taken ownership of the stage precariously attempting to initiate some line-dance and dose-y-doe routines.

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The epic set climax was a homage to sometime local resident hero, Tolkien, with their ‘abridged’ enactment of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’© (best put that in seeing as the estate are somewhat litigious). Anyway, Frodo© and Sam© embark on their quest to rid Middle-Earth© of the loathsome Ring and pass their journey to the refrains of ‘Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves’© only to encounter the evil Orcs©. A battle ensues by means of a freeze-frame dumb-show to the strains of ‘War Pigs’© resulting in the overthrow of Sauron©. Admittedly, being their helps. They closed with the celebratory Second-City ditty, ‘Birmingham©’ an amphetamine-fueled hoe-down frenzy. They have a three night Panto season coming-up in December. Be very afraid©.

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Mistys’ gigs are always delightfully unpredictable, in as much as their dada wouldn’t buy me a Bauhaus deconstructed theatre of the absurd can be. But, this evening’s set demonstrated that, alongside their intelligent, subversive Vaudeville kitsch – cunningly disguised as ‘alternative lounge psychedelia‘ they can be a devastatingly snappy soul combo to boot. With the stage being book-ended by two scorchingly talented lady horn players flanking main man vocals, Grandmaster Gareth, there’s also the inevitable surrealist distraction of ‘Erotic Volvo’s’ inflated purple Marigold kitchen-glove bobbing gyrations.

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Just as we thought we might be settling in for a principally Ska driven set, Grandmaster Gareth engages in a Franco/German dialogue predicated on his will-power to resist biscuit temptation set against a Samba swing. New song ‘Flavours’ had a sublimely driving Clash bass-line whilst the harmony drenched ‘Elevator’, recalled the pulsating 8/8 time signature road-movie noir of ‘LA Woman’. ‘Night-time/Better than Day-time’ was just disgustingly Stax horny. Perhaps, just perhaps, the definitive sound of MBA comes from the enigmatically haunting ‘I Can’t Bring The Time Back’. But, then again, what other band can lay claim to recently writing an umpapa bierkeller ditty containing the word ‘enough’ thirty-two times, as with ‘Done Stuff/Doing Stuff’? And, then of course, there’s the poetry. Yes, indeed, the poetry! What better way to then to celebrate the wettest drought in a century?

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Gig Review by John Kennedy
Gig Photos by Ian Dunn

One Response to “Misty's Big Adventure + The Dirty Old Folkers @ The Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK – 12th July 2012”

  1. John Kennedy Says:

    I put in a Like, not out of vanity, but to commend Ian’s photos. I don’t do this social networking very well! 😉 JK

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