Beefheart 'n' Cheeze - Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, Sun 3 Aug 2014 (4 stars)

This article is from 2014


Orange Claw Hammer pay tribute to avant-garde weirdo rocker, Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart has become synonymous with avant-garde rock. An innovator who rejected the boundaries of genre and an explorer who blasted into the sonic soundscape, 1969's Trout Mask Replica has become the go-to album for lovers of the weird and unusual. Orange Claw Hammer (themselves named after a track on Beefheart's aforementioned magnum opus) pay tribute to the music of the good captain Don Van Vliet. Deeply rhythmic and rooted in the blues before spiralling off into free association, their music is a wondrous cacophony of finely tuned chaos. Or 'totally mad shit', in the words of OCH's frontman / saxophonist Steve Kettley.

Even though the vast majority of the music is instrumental, much like Beefheart's contemporary Frank Zappa, there's a humour at play, a desire to stimulate and titillate through complex offbeat grooves and a clatter of noise. It's a wonderful, exhilarating recreation of Beefheart's experimentations, improvised and reinterpreted by Kettley and his quartet including the Hammer's live debut of the growling punk funk of 'Ant Man Bee’.

Kings of Cheeze play original acoustic music but it's equally playful from off the wall whispered lyrics to sweet harmonies via pounding beats and stuttering riffs. An intriguing double-bill for fans of adventurous rock.

Henry's Cellar Bar, 226 0000, 22 Aug, 8pm, £9 (£7), reviewed at 3 Aug gig.

Beefheart 'n' Cheeze

Psychedelic rock meets free jazz meets the blues.