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Review: Carl Barat & the Jackals – Ku Bar, Stockton – 07/07/17

14/07/2017

It’s Friday and the Carl Barat roadshow has rocked up into town. That town is Stockton and the venue for the showdown is KU Bar.

Famous for his pivotal roles in such standout groups as The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things as well as solo outings, collaborations, producing and even acting on stage and screen. His latest musical incarnation sees himself and his band The Jackals come together with sonic effect.

Tonight wasn’t just the Carl Barat show though, far from it. We were introduced to two exciting young groups to begin with. Both are being guided and showcased by Mr B who clearly sees potential.

First up were the raucous BlackWaters; a youthful four-piece from Guilford whose swagger could take them far. A feast of pogoing, snarling and goading from the lead singer ensure their 7 song set was certainly memorable. Their third song; ‘Ah Yeah, F*ck Yeah’ started off with a rant that Phil Daniels could have made on Parklife if allowed. The audience loved it and there is clearly a Teesside fan-base for these boys.

Next up and with the briefest of gaps to turnaround were the perky three piece LOCK. They were quickly up and running with their first song ‘Blood’ which was a guitar-heavy marching beat, the song built slowly and was a great intro and platform for the bands talented vocal ability. Other highlights of their seven song set included ‘Cinema’ which allowed the synth to take a lead and ‘Hey Compadre’  where the sound was akin to that of Bow Wow Wow. Finishing with the outstanding ‘New York vs Paris’ which was absolutely belting. Yes they saved the best for last but it also gives an insight as to how good this band can become, I recommend you catch them soon.

 

Finally – and again with hardly time to grab a drink between set-changes – Carl Barat & The Jackals stormed the small stage. The band resemble a bunch of attack dogs, well drilled and dangerous, these hounds run in a pack.

Launching into the opener ‘Victory Gin’ the now-capacity crowd knew they were in for a treat. This was closely followed by the popular ‘Glory Days’ the opening track from their 2015 album ‘Let it Reign’ – there’s lots of love in the room for thus track as the crowd bobbed in time with the dub rhythms which sit behind the guitar screams.

More outings from ‘Let it Reign’ followed, ‘We Want More’ drew most reaction from the crowd, while the pace was turned up a notch with the rousing ‘Summer in the Trenches’.

Next, from the 2017 album ‘Harder they fall’ is the highly combustible ‘Burning Cars’ – this song allows the rest of the band to show off their vocal talents as well and the set is much better for that.

 

 

 

 

The set then swings back to the first album with ‘March of the Idle’ and ‘Let it Reign’ building the pace and then slowing it down nicely. Just in time for the band to rip into ‘Bang Bang you’re Dead’, the stellar Dirty Pretty Things song from the debut album ‘Waterloo to Anywhere’ from 2006. This is familiar territory for the band and the crowd and the roof was duly lifted.

Two more tracks from ‘Harder They Fall’ followed; ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Cracks’ the latter used as the platform to finally introduce all band members to the audience.

The guitars work their hardest during ‘War of the Roses’ a fact not lost on the crowd whose reaction was endearing.

A three-song encore was the final serving of the night. Given the cocktail of content already passed this could have gone many ways. The feast served to the patient Stockton crowd was a trinity of outstanding songs. First up ‘Gin & Milk’ the Dirty Pretty Things standard and for me the best song of the night. Followed up with ‘Death on the Stairs’ a Libertines hit from their debut ‘Up the Bracket’ back in 2002. And finally ‘I Get Along’ another Libertines belter from the same debut album.

All in all it was a stunning gig the pedigree on show was plain to see. Carl Barat has a locker-full of songs, I suspect there’s never a dull gig when he’s involved.

WORDS: HARLAND DEER

PHOTOGRAPHY: DARRAN MOORE

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