Blitzen Trapper at the Water Rats

20th May 2008 – 8.24 am

'We've lost Mike, our bass player', announces the frontman for experimental folk band Blitzen Trapper. 'Maybe you can help us find him?' he asks, immediately comfortable on stage and ready to perform. On a count of three most of the limited audience call out for 'Miiiiiiiiike!' but it takes another minute before he shambles between everyone with a beer in hand wondering what the fuss is about when people cheer his arrival. He picks up his bass after the drummer had released it from being slung around his neck and banging the instrument's headstock against the stage floor. With the whole band on stage Blitzen Trapper fire in to their first song of the evening, all six of them committing themselves fully to the musical experience.

Most of the songs are from their current album, Wild Mountain Nation, with some new songs included during the set. We are told that there is a new album coming out in September, but that we should acquaint ourselves with their back catalogue in the meantime. To persuade us to buy more of their records, the drummer lets us know that 'Christmas is here sooner than we think', no doubt a reference to their song Christmas is Coming Soon. With perpetually a couple of songs left in their set, until they actually run out of time, we are treated to lightly plucked guitars and lilting voices interspersed with loud, distorted and occasionally arhythmic songs. Everything played is delivered with vigour and passion, enough for the drummer to break a stick. He asks if anyone has any to spare, as it is the last date on Blitzen Trapper's tour and they have run out of drumsticks. It takes a minute or so and a few sticks are brought to him on stage, and it's a good thing he was given more than one because he snaps another stick during the next song, much to everyone's amusement.

Even with the venue's small size it isn't sold out, but it's difficult to see why. Blitzen Trapper are wonderfully entertaining, with energetic and beautifully melodic songs as well as a charming presence on stage. I am looking forward to the new album and hope to see the band play live again.

  1. One Response to “Blitzen Trapper at the Water Rats”

  2. And just so I don't forget, the first support act was The Pack A.D., a blues duo that sounded great even with technical difficulties.

    By pjharvey on May 20, 2008

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