Soledad Brothers : London Camden Underworld

Detroit bluesmen bring much-needed chaos to rock zeitgeist

As the first bar stool flies past and The Soledad Brothers‘ roadies pile into the moshpit randomly smacking teeth with a fury, you realise this is how rock’n’roll shows [I]should[/I] be: stage invasions, flying pints of stale lager with NME’s name on them and the band actually fighting their own fans. Eat your riot out, Jesus & Mary Chain.

OK, so the Soledad Brothers may be just a bunch of tour-frazzled wrecks holding their set of amphet-blues together by the threads of their sanity. But somewhere within their three-chord trick surges danger, and when it latches on to your reptile brain stem it humps for dear life. ‘Handle Song’ is Bob Dylan’s soul being halted by Beelzebub’s customs officers and told to come back when it’s cleaned up its act, whereas ‘The Elucidator’ thrills like the Von Bondies in a bar-fight for the last ever quart of moonshine. Their secret’s in the rhythm, and each time the beats kick in another straight-faced cynic is reduced to the status of ‘dancing loon’.

Admittedly, there’s the odd drawn-out dirge and even applause mid-set for a fucking [I]guitar solo[/I], but Soledad Brothers are prepared to ride solely on the thrill of imminent chaos. Hence, when Johnny Walker drops to his knees in a haze of feedback, his beer-sodden entourage end the show by starting a fight with the crowd. And who wants to see someone [I]play[/I] a rock’n’roll show when you can watch Soledad Brothers beat up on one instead?

Tim Jonze