Acoustic Club in the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, Wales (and Woody Pines)   1 comment

Pavillion Porthcawl

We finished our bottle of wine and I went back for some ciders; the bartender asked, “Are you with the band?”  Probably a fair question since we had the only authentic American South accents in the house (and probably within a 60 mile radius); “no, we’re actually from the South”.  Oh, sure, Woody Pines and the boys yokeled it up with rambling stories told in ill-advised pseudo-drawls and that were meant to evoke folksy authenticity but actually came across as cringe-worthy as a black-and-white minstrel show.

woody pines

In the first set, they claimed to be from Nashville, and their press material (above) has them from North Carolina.  Turns out, the bass player is from Southern California, the lead guitar from Miami, and Woody is actually from New-fucking-Hampshire.  Not a proper southerner in the lot.

But, they do play the living shit out of their instruments.  There’s decent writing, as well, with hints of John Prine and Tom Waits coming through (hey…one of them is from Alabama, at least).  The lead guitar is fantastic and channels Django Rheindart and Eldon Shamblin in equal proportions, and the stand up bass has an air about him like Jimbo from the Reverend’s band.  There was this amazing act that was ACTUALLY out of North Carolina in the 80’s and 90’s called Flat Duo Jets that consisted of a guy with a guitar and another guy who often only had a single snare drum and in live performances they sounded like a 12 piece jazz orchestra…on crank; these three guys sound a lot bigger than they actually are, too.

Woody Pines

 

We found out about these guys when we tuned into Bob Harris’ Country on Radio 2 at the end of January and heard this fantastic cut during part of a Western Swing set that included a Dixie Chicks and something else that was just great from Ashley Monroe (who turned out, otherwise, to be rubbish). Bob, despite being an Major League asshole*, plays a lot of obscure talents that are almost always touring here soon so we decided to seek out this boy and his band.  Woody and the band were, indeed, touring Britain soon after (and some cool places, indeed) so, of course we booked seats at the gig in Porthcawl.

The seating in the intimate Acoustic Club (the downstairs bar and music venue in the Grand Pavillion) is pretty intimate: 22 tables with 5 chairs each.  We lucked into one where we were the only occupants although our neighbours might have joined friends across the room.

Update:  Brits always say Americans don’t ‘get’ irony.  Case in point, I have been lectured about authenticity by the tour manager of these great musicians who spent their entire act pretending to be something they neither are nor understand:

scathing review and lecture

 

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{*Bob, who famously, whilst hosting the New York Dolls on their first Old Grey Whistle Test appearance, referred to them smarmily as “Mock Rock” (see the end of the linked video) despite them serving as the punk vanguard, was, just as famously, targeted for murder by Sid Vicious a few years later. He was also marked for mockery as model for the host of “Jazz Club” on the Fast Show (known as Brilliant in the States)…nice.}

Find it on the pub map here.

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One response to “Acoustic Club in the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, Wales (and Woody Pines)

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  1. Pingback: Smugglers Bar, Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl, Wales | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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