The night kicked off with the inimitable Bum'n'Draze who, we were told, had that day achieved the distinction of having a box of their CDs stolen from the seat of a car. Be on the lookout for (a) pirated Bum'n'Draze albums at your local CD shop and (b) young Khmers turned on to their crazy Scandinavian subgrunge. As the fella said: we'd rather be heard than paid. And heard they were: with two guests along, a third Finn who played some cool trumpet (never heard Sabbath's Paranoid with horns before) and Gildas McSwashbuckle contributing some mean guitar. The throbbing madness was brought to a close with the destruction of a tv set. All in a day's work.
Following on, out of France and Kampot, came JP and the Nurses, a very cool little outfit playing some post punk pop including covers of Zombie, a deliciously mangled Sweet dreams are made of this, and even Gildas McSwashbuckle and I contributed some backing vocals for With or without you. Then with a minor change of line-up we enjoyed the Happy Cockroaches, playing a mostly French set with similar tight rhythms and a more continental punky feel. I especially enjoyed I will survive.
The Stiff Little Punks were in fine sweating form, again proving to be more than the sum of their parts. The highlight of their set was undoubtedly the closer: Holiday in Cambodia, of course.
The boogie blues rock of Lost Highway took over the stage next, and they brought in the new year with their usual brand of enthusiastic sound: loud guitar, honking harp, augmented by (unfortunately a bit lost in the mix) keyboard. A broken guitar string created an opportunity for Tall Thom to show off some licks, and Ian the Punk contributed some vocals.
The Hellhounds were last on the bill, and we had some pretty hard acts to follow. The crowd seemed to be on our side, though, and we cranked through some of our louder, faster stuff with Canadian Dave filling in on bass in the absence of the Swedish Ambassador. After a while the stage filled up with Lost Highway personnel and the jam was on: I recall Stormy Monday and Ian the Punk helping out on a boisterous Honky Tonk Women - the night's not over until someone's played HTW. And so went the jam until 2, when the curfew kicked in; the only downside of the night, as I'm sure the groove could have kept cruising for at least another hour. But maybe it's not such a bad idea to finish when it's still good.
There are already some great photos over at the Sharky's page; less impressionistic than these offerings.
Thanks to the Sharky's crew for putting on the show, for making it work so smoothly, and making it so much fun to be a part of. Penhstock continues with Lost Highway on 1 Jan and Plan B (from Australia) on 2 Jan.
Seeya near a stage somewhere in 2010.
The view from behind the drums