Joe Gideon stepped on stage in an almost empty main room at the Brudenell on Tuesday. Along with Jim Sclavunos and Gris-de-lin they soon had the crowd on their feet.
Joe Gideon’s sound comes across as spontaneous, the riffs and sounds coming from Gideon’s guitar is almost an assault on the senses. Yet, when complemented by Jim Sclavunos’s thundering drums along with synth and keyboards from Gris-de-Lin is really quite infectious.
The vocals, with macabre and humorous lyrics covered a breadth of vague and/or obscure topics, from Space Incas to mad photographers, in a deep and otherworldly voice.
Of particular note was “Eugene Went Crazy”, which tells of the mental collapse and recuperation of World War II photographer W. Eugene Smith. Smith who went off the rails when commissioned to do a project in Pittsburgh to record ordinary life and he got so embroiled and impassioned by that it was supposed to take him three weeks but ended up taking three years. It’s a gripping tale and when combined with thigh slapping and the unusual sight and sound of drums being played with maracas left a lasting impression.
“Comet Coming down” continues the niche instrumentation choices with bells and a rhodes sound from Gris-de-Lin’s Nord Electro 2, and the transition into the “Ancient Space Mariner” was smoother than any studio album.
Joe Gideon continues to offer a unique musical experience, like nothing I’d heard before. It might be an acquired taste for some but hopefully with more exposure the bigger crowds will come.