I fancied something a little different on Saturday night so I thought I would head up to the Railway tavern to check out Uncle Tom's Cobbleys. I arrived just after nine and was greeted by the pleasant sound of Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen played on banjo and acoustic guitar. Not the first song that comes to mind when you think of a folk duo. Nevertheless, it sounded really good!
They started as they meant to go on; with strong, popular classics which were well rehearsed and sounding great. Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, Black Sabbath's Paranoid and Don't You Want Me Baby by Human League really stuck out in my mind both for the novelty value and quality of sound. All of their endings were very tight and never failed to achieve that instant applause which confirms the perfect ending. This showed not only a band which is well rehearsed, but also good on stage communication. Just doing this very basic thing helps to make the audience comfortable in the knowledge that the band they are watching are in control.
To my surprise, Uncle Tom's Cobbleys played a very interesting version of Lady Gaga's Pokerface which didn't suck! Controversial? I shall apologize now to all you die hard Gaga fans. I liked the almost dull heavy metal sound they managed to achieve with the instrumentation and vocal arrangement. But what stuck out in my mind was the personality they put into it. They were just having a lot of fun with the song and their arrangement. I actually would have liked to have seen more of this throughout the sets.
My favourite song they played was Young at Heart by The Bluebells. Their harmonies were just fantastic in this. This was pretty much the case throughout but it was this song in which they really stood out for me.
All in all, a fantastic night. So good in fact, I abandoned my original plan of staying for the first half and then heading into town and stayed for most of set two as well.
Back Beat recommends Uncle Tom's Cobbleys!
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