Live Review: Reverend Horton Heat + Mojo JuJu + Doubleblack - The Factory Theatre, Sydney (24.05.13)

rev horton heat

Walking into The Factory and finding three drum kits on stage was something a little different. I could only assume there will be quick turnarounds between sets tonight, which as I punter I love because it keeps the vibe and flow going. Doubleblack kicked it off with a mix of traditional rockabilly, punk and a dash of psychobilly as they fired the crowd up for the nights proceedings. A solid set from the three piece with some damn fine soloing and slap double bass work.

Mojo Juju added some groovy blues/country fusion to proceedings. Her darkness is akin to Nick Cave with a groove that the great B.B King would be appreciative off. Her cigar box guitar thumped out the blues riffs and her sultry tones got the pin up girls swinging and swaying along to her tunes. Definitely won over more than her hardcore fans tonight.

The Reverend Horton Heat are one of those legendary acts that I’ve always had on my list of acts to see even if I was not the hardcore fan than most of the attendees tonight. The greasers and the pin up dolls looked the part because they were the part. The Reverend Horton Heat are why rockabilly is cool again. They have a swagger, they have rock n’ roll roots and western blues flowing through their veins. Jim Heath is an exceptional guitarist which tonight delivered a masterclass on how to be a true rockabilly pioneer. The band took the unusual step of playing tracks from their back catalogue in chronological order. So opening with a ‘Psychobilly Freakout’ from their debut record Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em, they performed a track off each corresponding record including off 1998’s Space Heater in which Heath recognized “What the critics would say was our weakest record!”

Their set was broken up by little two minute intermissions with a 50’s radio ads played as the band took a breather and more importantly, have a drink as drinking as always been an important part of the bands image and lyrical content. The Reverend took a young crowd member to school with his heckling which I found quite bizarre that you would come to see a band you like and then heckle them during the show. Jim and double bass player Jimbo swapped instruments for a cover of Johnny B Goode, proving that both men were equally competent in the others instrument.

Tonight was all about having a good old fashioned time at a rockabilly show. The cool and the swagger of the music and the fans. The only thing missing was the diner, malt milkshakes and The Fonz riding in on a Harley.