Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Dellburgoes (with the Dukes)

(Bodega, Sat 5 March)

Many moons ago, the night after the Dead Moon gig in Barrytown(1), I went to a Tadpole gig in Greymouth because, well, there wasn't much else to do. Supporting them was a band called Deluxeboy who were so stupefyingly boring in their lack of investment in their sound and their play by numbers style that window shopping, in a wet and cold Greymouth on a Sunday night, suddenly seemed an attractive option. So, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I learnt that half of Deluxeboy has become half of the Dukes, a band that proclaims itself as a rock'n'roll "revue" band. The first song didn't shake off my fears, but things did get better. Their performance was pretty together, and they did in fact pay attention to the performance aspect of the gig. Most importantly, they themselves seemed to believe in and actually enjoy what they were doing. I don't think they'll ever be my favourite band or anything, because they're not really to my taste, but I have to acknowledge that the Dukes are not bad at what they do - a pop MOR style of rock that would go down a treat in many a pub around the country. Thinking that made me think "hey, these guys would do well as support for the Viloent Femmes" and then I remembered that that's exactly what they had planned for Sunday. They claim to be strongly influenced by the Rolling Stones but there were only a couple of songs, particularly the third one in with its "re-cog-ni-shin" that I saw it.

The Dellburgoes were a different kettle of fish - main man Rex Bourke has been around for a while now, he used to be in the Strangeloves (the other members of which, oddly enough, became one version of David Kilgour's backing band - and Taane Tokona is still a Heavy Eight). These guys I could listen to forever. Sure, they don't break any new ground; in fact the only boundary they seem to cross is the time barrier - most of what they do would sit nicely in the 1950's (although with louder, faster equipment and better mixing). Their most obvious influence is Chuck Berry, with a cover of Maybelline and another I can't remember in the mix. Apparently, their sound is reeperbahn rock. While I know that the reeperbahn was a rock club in Hamburg in the late 50's, I was never there so don't know what the prevailing sound was. What I do know is that in among the covers from that era and the two longish surf-rock instrumentals, the Dellburgoes have managed to incorporate their own compositions to construct a seamless web (except perhaps for their newest songs, which tend to go off in a more garage sound). One of these days, I really must buy their CD.

(1) It is so cool to have a whole town named after me - I just had to go there. Even better to find out that the only thing in town is a pub.


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