PHOTO CREDITS: MB PHOTOS SCOTLAND
With a UK tour in full swing and the prospect of sliding into Belgium and Germany at the end of October, US southern rockers HOGJAW have set up camp in Bannerman’s tonight for what is surely going to be a downright-dirty feel-good party with a twist of fun.
Hogjaw know their audience and made sure they serviced the great Scottish rivalry by playing in Glasgow the night before coming to Edinburgh on the Way Down Yonder tour. The quality of the band and their performance is clear in the realisation that some punters had travelled to see the band for a second night having enjoyed the show in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut only 24 hours before.
There is no support band tonight and the hall isn’t full but the quality of the punter is all that matters as the band step on stage and begin their hugely entertaining set, drawing from their catalogue of some ten years. The somewhat looming figure of Jonboat Jones (vocals & guitar) standing centre stage is instantly endearing given his warmth and humour behind the mic. His bandmates Jimmy Rose (guitar), Elvis DD (bass) and Kwall (drums) are a solid unit, exchanging sideways jibes and glances throughout the show. The chance to be down the front, up close and personal in this small room makes for a truly intimate experience but in a beardy, sweaty sort of way.
With a set of sixteen songs, the growing crowd were treated to some classics such as the opener ‘Rollin Thunder’ – a pacey track that features wonderfully tasteful twin guitar parts that are to feature through the rest of the night. Jones and Rose sound like a high class estate agent on Edinburgh’s George Street but the reality is somewhat different with the two guitarists complementing each other’s melodies, riffs, and licks in every track. Mixing up the vocals is part of the plan with all but Elvis DD being mic-less.
The delivery of ‘County Line’ from the band’s eponymous 2010 album ‘Ironwood’ is pure quality and seems to be never ending with solos being swapped as the whole band seem lost in the moment. The vocal harmonies are sublime and there is an Allman Brothers vibe that is captivating. This track stands out and as always, my scan of the crowd sees those gathered equally lost in the moment.
‘Redemption’ from the 2017 album that spawned this tour is a different prospect from much of the material as the tempo is slowed to leave the space for a more bluesy rock song with a moody chorus and guitar solo that drips from the PA like honey. The band don’t take themselves too seriously but do deliver a quality of rock that is worthy of praise.
Closing track ‘Getsum’ is a heavier prospect and features on the band’s debut album ‘Devil In The Detail’ – with the trademark guitar parts and it’s only right to mention the engine room of Elvis DD and Kwall who are unwavering in their delivery all night. Stepping off the stage straight into the waiting fans, the band take the time to say hello and loiter around the merch stall where some of the most unique shirts I’ve seen are on sale.
With sweat mopped from brows and the Jack and Cokes supplied mid-show necked, the venue slowly empties into streets that seem a million miles from Arizona. It’s fair to say however, that for the last couple of hours you could swear you were those million miles away. I’d recommend you catch Hogjaw whilst they’re on the road as you really are guaranteed a great show.
PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM