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Whippet out – The Blood Arm, Glasgow Captain’s Rest

Howlin’ Whippet dons his long leather coat of justice and goes off in search of redemption. And beer.

Some things just should be.

Gigs should be in small, loud, sticky-floored sweatboxes. Seeing a band in a barn just doesn’t tickle me one bit. As for stadium shows, if I wanted to watch TV from a distance and drink overpriced warm beer from a plastic glass I’d do it for free in my hall.

By the same logic, groups should be born in garages. They should be loud, obnoxious and look like the freaks just escaped.

The Strokes and Kings Of Leon just seemed to drop perfectly formed from some record company A&R fella’s imagination. They’re just look too good to be true. Tonight at The Captain’s Rest, we get the antidote.

If your not familiar with The Blood Arm, they’re a 20-something band of outsiders from LA with the power of proper rock and roll coursing through them like electricity.

Singer Nathaniel Fregosa is a demented Lux Interior-alike with charisma that dwarfs his small frame. Dyan Valdes on keyboards adds some glamour to their wilder excesses.

If you imagine the B52’s jamming with The Stooges on angular versions of Cramps songs you might be close. However, The Blood Arm defy description.

Zebastian Carlisle spends the set throttling his guitar and drummer Zachary Amos is the coolest sweaty man I’ve ever witnessed.

Opener ‘Epileptic Shock’ is a frantic dash of cymbal crashes and guitar wrangling. ‘She’s A Guillotine’ from album Turn And Face Me keeps the adrenaline pumping and the packed (well, as packed as 100 people in a tiny room can be) crowd seem to be lapping it up.

Fregoso spends several songs in the crowd and his invitation for the audience to sit on the aforementioned sticky floor for ‘Angela’ gets a good reception from most of those present. A lot of the crowd are clearly Blood Arm veterans and singalongs break out regularly. ‘I Need You’ particularly has us all joining in with the glam rock woo-ohs. Reminds me a bit of Goldblade, that ‘un actually.

Set closer ‘PS I Love You But I Don’t Miss You’ sees The Blood Arm leave us with another mashed-up, chaotic, but exotically tune-filled show.

If you haven’t seen them, I recommend that you do. Soon. Because, when all is said and done, this is what rock and roll should look and sound like. Fun.


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