All Aboard the Waco Express!

May 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm (Uncategorized)

Jon Langford of the Mekons, Skull Orchard, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, the Waco Brothers and no doubt many more is a funny fucking guy. Langford held court at the Horseshoe Tavern Friday May 13, and for anyone who attended, you know what I mean.

Langford performed first with Skull Orchard and the Burlington Welsh Male Chorus Which meant that Langford and a couple of Wacos along with a twenty-plus men’s choir were crowded onto the tiny stage at the ‘Shoe.And if the prospect of a folk-country-punk playing alongside a group known for traditional folk song and hymns doesn’t sound appealing., you weren’t there. Langford led his band and the Chorus through songs of struggle, but also joy. Mixed in with Langford commentary and between-song banter, and you had a great start to the evening.

Joe D’Urso and the Stone Caravan played second and acquitted themselves with honour. A New Jersey based country-rock band, D’Urso played an energetic Americana that channeled their inner-Springsteen but also sounded original. The kind of band you could walk into a bar to hear, but one that somehow transcended the medium.

A little later came, well, the Waco Brothers. If you have never seen them perform, it’s a bit hard to explain. But basically, they’re an unstoppable force of nature. For over two hours and ternty minutes (I left the Horseoe as the house lights came on at 2:05 AM), Langford and his buddies raced through the best country album the Clash never made (or alternately the good records the Rolling Stones no longer make) mixing their own material with a significant helping of covers. In addition to material from their new record Going Down in History and previous greatest hits, the band covered T-Rex, Bobby Fuller, Tom Jones ( comments about Wales’ greatest son filled the evening), Shirley Bassey, Neil Young, and the Undertones. Every time it sounded as if the song they were playing was going to be the last of the evening, it turned out it wasn’t. (Except for the last, I suppose)Throughout the evening, shouts were heard for “Fox River,” and it was the last song of the evening. Joined by Jeff Cohen,  his wife, and several audience members the band tore through the track from Electric Waco Chair and sent everyone home happy.

PS For those of you who are fans of all things Langford, the word is that the Mekons will be playing the TURF festival in the Fall, but that the band will also be playing a club show at the Shoe in September.

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