The Sell Out/Bahookie Cheek - The Wartime Coats – Bellfield Tavern – 01/10/16

The Sell Out/Bahookie Cheek. The Wartime Coats – Bellfield Tavern – 01/10/16

And as the tired old debate about the merits of tribute bands versus original acts rages on, there was in one small corner of the world a place where the two clashed, and unsurprisingly there were no casualties, and instead it was a case of the music fans winning no matter what way you looked at it.

The Sell Out, a Who tribute band, whose name may be a self deprecating tongue in cheek reference to setting aside personal artistic dreams to keep playing music whether it is your own or not, were the main attraction of the night as they powered through a set of classics from the band.
There might not have been any microphone swinging a la Daltrey as the Bellfields Taverns ceiling height wouldn’t allow it, but there was plenty of Townsend styled wind milling guitar work going on and it is very doubtful that fans of the band would have felt short changed from the performance on show.

Another bonus is that the evening didn’t cost and arm and a leg, or that you would find yourself half a mile away from the stage.

Instead it was a free entry gig and you could stand close enough to the band that you could have reached out and touched them.

Of course it isn’t the real deal, but for a Saturday night out in an Ayrshire town you aren’t going to get anything better anywhere else and these guys can play.
I mean really play.
In fact Daltrey might never have been the most powerful rock vocalist to grace a stadium stage, but the front man of The Sell Out can certainly fill his shoes and more, and he can do it without breaking a sweat.
If you want to hear the Who standards belted out as if it was the seventies then they have it covered.

In support there was The Bahookie Cheek, a band that I have an ep off, but hadn’t actually seen, but while this would be the first live introduction it will hopefully be the beginning of a long term relationship.

The humour that they smear all over their lyrics shouldn’t distract anyone from their abilities as song writers and performers.
This is a great band.
Someone confusedly told me that they sounded like old guys who wanted to be The Libertines or The View, and the bit that they were missing is that these guys have just got a closer link to the acts that influenced both of those bands rather than their material coming off the back of them.
Even describing them as such doesn’t really cut it either though as the band isn’t one to be genre pigeonholed, unless that genre is the shit hot songs one that every musician wants to be included in.
Her Majesties Pleasure, Gods got his plans.
Both are original classics that you need to hear, and songs that others would sell there first born to have written.
Get the name written down and go and see them.
Entertainment guaranteed.

And that brings us to the opening act of the evening, The Wartime Coats, a trio of young guys who look like they were thrown out of Pretty Green for shoplifting.
Cheeky mod chappies, but looks are slightly deceiving as there’s a lot more going on with their sound rather than just being one of the ten-a-penny Oasis clones that still proliferate in every local music scene.

When they approach the Clash to cover them there’s a bit more Cowboy Junkies in it, a bit of Velvet Underground in others songs, a whole load of Stones during their Exile period is filtering through other tracks and when it’s all wrapped together it shows them to be a young band that are setting foot on a path that could ultimately take them anywhere.

Even when they do a cover - as all young bands do to pad out a set - they resolutely refuse do it straight and there’s a determination to put their own stamp on it.
And that’s something that separates bands who are trying to break out from their home towns up and down the country.
Regardless of the quality of the musicianship there has to be something recognisable about them.
Something that works in their favour to differentiate them from the pack, and that something, that thing that is so hard to put a finger on, is what the Wartime Coats have.
They could be the next Primal Scream with their magpie tendencies.

If Alan McGee reads this he may just get a bit of a stiffy on.

Who knows what is around the corner for them, but after seeing them once I’m interested in finding out.