London WC2 Borderline/King’s Cross Water Rats

[B]Wino[/B]'s a true original, having been around since 1980, fronting doom legends[B] The Obsessed[/B] and [B]St Vitus[/B] on a daily diet of booze and bad medicine...

Formed by [a]Fu Manchu[/a]’s lead guitarist Eddie Glass, [a]Nebula[/a] are currently riding high in the US underground rock charts under the dubious ‘stoner rock’ banner. That tag, though, will have to go, because [a]Nebula[/a]’s sound is more akin to a night ripped to the tits on acid and angel dust. It’s frightening.

Blending the raw power of The Stooges, MC5 and Black Sabbath with the frazzled prog bongo of, oh yes, Santana, the southern Californian trio make an awesome, frazzled racket tonight. The old stuff – ‘Let It Burn’, ‘Rolling My Way To Freedom’ – sounds incredible, but the new songs, such as ‘Clearlight’, are even better. Really, you have to see them.

But not before you catch the legendary Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich and his new band Spirit Caravan, who NME sees two nights later at the Water Rats. The John Lee Hooker of stoner rock, 39-year-old Wino‘s a true original, having been around since 1980, fronting doom legends The Obsessed and St Vitus on a daily diet of booze and bad medicine. Now he’s sober and back on track, having recently signed to Fugazi bassist Joe Lally‘s label.

All bare chests and leather waistcoats, his band proceed to hammer out the heaviest, tightest, LOUDEST rock show this year. Drawing mainly on their debut ‘Jug Fulla Sun’ album, Wino‘s famed guitar tone sounds like a ten-ton elephant driving an articulated lorry full of bricks across a desert. It’s pretty heavy. They encore with The Obsessed‘s ‘Streetside’ and Black Sabbath‘s ‘Wicked World’ – and it confirms their majesty.

Back on track, steely-eyed and ready for anything, nobody operating in rock’n’roll today can touch Wino and his Spirit Caravan. Nobody at all.

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