Saturday, October 11, 2008


The Greyhound Hotel, Sept 26 2008

The sweaty, beer stained (but no longer smoky) environs of the Greyhound Hotel provides the perfect backdrop to experience the likes of The Sons of Lee Marvin. Having played the local round of grimy traps for a few years now, the band have evolved into an outfit well-oiled enough to be cohesive and confident, yet still retain enough rawness and minor cracks to know you’re watching a real rock & roll band - hard working, and doing what they do for the sheer love of it all.

After punchy sets by Kretch (particularly energetic) and The Hybenators, Sons of Lee Marvin treated the warmed-up crowd to a blistering run through their high-octane repertoire, which includes such ass-shakin’ ditties as Snatch, Sunshine in Her Eyes (which chugs along in a great Dave Clark Five-esque singalong) and the Cramps flavoured Night of the Hunter (named after a film not starring Lee Marvin but rather fellow cinematic tough guy Robert Mitcham).

Powered along by the twin drums of Knuckles O’Hara and Kidd Gloves, who provide a monster backbeat for the dual guitars of Stu Manchu and Cos ‘El Lobo Loco’, The Sons of Lee Marvin (who derived their name from a semi-secret society formed by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch) deliver a potent mix of raucous rockabilly, its more twisted in-bred cousin psychobilly, and 60s guitar pop, all turned up to ten and delivered with an injection of carefree punk sensibilities.

The gig had it’s share of hiccups when bassist/lead vocalist Bryan Mayden broke the E string on his bass mid-song, and El Lobo experienced a PA meltdown that put him out of action for a couple of songs, but they played it cocksure cool and somehow made it seem like such unpredictable mishaps are all just another part of the live rock and roll experience.

Which of course, in many ways, they are.

Review by John Harrison