Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Famous James on Herne Bay front

Saturday 23rd February 2013
Famous James and the Monsters
The Divers Arms, Herne Bay

This was (singer/guitarist) Jamie's birthday, so I couldn't miss it. Phil Holmes kindly gave me a lift out there and back (the return journey interpolating an extraordinary conversation about Finnegans Wake, ancient Egypt, etymology, the curse of Ham and current global power elites!) It was a freezing night out on the Herne Bay seafront. I almost never go to Herne Bay, but it felt particularly relevant to be there as it was the birthplace of Kevin Ayers who'd departed this Earthly plane a few days earlier.

The Monsters have been working away for a while now and have accrued significant body of memorable songs. Excellent harmony singing from Ashley and Jamie. Brilliant drumming from Josh Magill — these would be great songs with any drummer, but he takes the music to another level. Tom (who only took up the bass when he joined this band) is now playing a five-string, obviously taking his bass playing seriously! And Phil Self from Cocos Lovers is back in the lineup on mandolin, filling out the rhythm section (I had a quick chat with him afterwards and got an update on the third Cocos album which is currently in production).

It was a noisy pub gig on a Saturday night, but they rose to the occasion, being the kind of band that can do that. Everyone was stomping to "Discotheque" at the end, but it was a slower, more delicate song that really did it for me ("Turn to Stone"? Definintely "stone" in the title...)

Here they were in another noisy pub (Caseys, Canterbury) last spring, with a slightly larger lineup:

Incidentally, The Divers Arms gets mentioned by Richard Sinclair in the lyrics of the (almost) title track of the classic-era Caravan quartet's rather dubious 1982 reunion album Back to Front:

"Here in Herne bay / In the Divers Arms you'll find them all on display.
Even traffic wardens drink there — hip hip hooray! Back to front Herne Bay.


Post a Comment

<< Home