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L.A. Beat

Big John Bates kills it with Murder by Death

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Everyone was saving their energy and money for an incendiary show from Black Mastiff, Big John Bates and  Murder By Death, March 29  at the Slice.
 They had a large audience crammed into the building for this set. While I missed Black Mastiff, I was glad to catch crazy Canadian psychobilly trio Big John Bates.

They didn’t have burlesque dancers this time, but had the quirky, crazy Montana bred stand up bassist Brandy Bones putting on a show of every bass trick in the book. She writhed and wound herself around her bass, bowing it for a couple numbersMurder By Death’s John Brackett joined Big John Bates on stage for a song on accordion. Photo by Richard Amery, lying on top of it for others, andBig John Bates basist Brandy Bones putting on a show. Photo by Richard Amery spinning it around on others.  

She sang about half the set in a beautifully ethereal, spooky voice and screamed like a tortured woman  on several others. Meanwhile Bill Dozer punished the skins throughout adding a relentless backbeat. And everybody got to solo as Big John Bates wandered through the guitar playing searing rockabilly tinged solos, collects three shot of Jaegermeister and fed them to the band while Brandy Bones  thundered away on  the bass. She wandered through the packed house for a couple shots of her own at the bar and Dozer continued pummelling his drEverybody got to solo. Photo by Richard Ameryum kit.

 They invited Scotty, the Sky Captain, Brackett from Murder By Death to play some accordion for a number. The eye-patched Scotty Brackett fit right in.
 Everybody was waiting for Murder by Death’s Lethbridge debut. 

The Bloomington, Indiana based indie rock with a cello band  were just as spooky. Lead singer/ guitarist Adam Turla had a distinctive baritone voice reminiscent of Wax Mannequin meets the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan, backed by a crack band, held the house’s attention and still got a lot of feet moving.

Sarah Baillet added spooky sounds on her cello and bassist Matt Armstrong had more guitar gadgets hooked up to his bass than most lead guitarists.
 Meanwhile Scott Brackett added a little bit of everything else from horns to mandolin and even a theramin.
 They combined a variety of sounds and played a more upbeat show than I thought after watching them on various videos.

— By Richard Amery, L.A.Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 April 2012 11:46 )  
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