Call me Russ L


Posted in Food, Music by Russ L on 7 January, 2006

Originally posted on 22/5/5.

It’s a while ago, obviously, but the Monday before last I happened to visit Café Rouge in Brindley Place, Birmingham. The place has had some mixed reviews (by which I literally mean ‘mixed,’ not euphemistically ‘bad’), but it was fine on this particular night. I had tiger prawns in garlic & tomato sauce (could have done with a touch more garlic, but then again I can see that putting off as many as it endears) to start, then an absolutely beautiful Boeuf Bourguignon. Very nicely cooked beef and wonderful jus, and a very nice potatoes-with-cheese-and-garlic accompaniment. The service was friendly and attentive, and the décor was whimsical but not unpleasant (that it could have been a scene in ‘Amelie’ was the thought that came to my mind). I liked the place.

Thursday (the nineteenth) I went to see John Legend at The Academy. Working till eight meant I missed any support acts that may have performed, and a busy Academy (lots and lots of people) meant that I missed… something that could have been awkward. I don’t know why I bother to be cryptic. No-one reads this. I could say anything.

Young Mr Legend was very good. I didn’t know he did the “Ooh-ooh-ooh-uh-oooh” bits in Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name.” That was a new one on me. He showed a really admirable sense of proportion – I was sort of expecting this gig to go a bit over the top with the solos and what-not at points (I don’t know why, I just had a feeling it might), but it didn’t at all. The highlights would be ‘Alright,’ ‘Used To Love U’ and ‘Refuge.’ We were all finished by half-ten, too, which some people don’t like but I welcome.

Friday (the twentieth) I went to see Clutch at The Queens Hall in Nuneaton. I’d never been to Nuneaton before (it’s just like any small town, really. There were some nice picturesque views from the train window on the way there), so getting there and finding the venue without a hitch was quite good going for me. Actualy figuring out where in the building the bands were playing was a touch more difficult, but I got there in the end.

Montana from Coventry were advertised as playing but didn’t, so we just had the two bands on the tour. Support act Five Horse Johnson were fantastic. Imagine a more boogie-ish version of Clutch, mixed perhaps with earlier ZZ Top, and you have a bloody great band. There was some excellent harmonica blowin’ parts (actually… odd train of thought, perhaps, but maybe early 70s Aerosmith are part of their sound too) and some great songs. And lots of groove. Lots and lots of groove.

The most grooving rock band on the planet were headlining, of course. Clutch are just ace – this is the fourth time I’ve seen them (they’re my most-frequently-seen foreign band) and although they’ve been fantastic each time, this was probably the best. They just make you want to shake your stuff. Highlights would be the one-two of ‘Texas Book Of The Dead’ and ‘A Shogun Named Marcus’ early on in the set, and of course ‘Escape From The Prison Planet. I had to leave shortly before they finished for the train (according to the setlist I could see I missed ‘Impetus’ – boooo…), but a great night was had in Sunny Nunny.

Last night I went to the Cage Warriors event in Coventry. I think that needs a diary entry of its own, as you’ll soon see.

~ Russ L


One Response

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  1. Tom Kerswill said, on 8 January, 2006 at 12:31 am

    Sounds like a lot of good music!

    By the way.. quick plug while I’m here:

    I’m playing at the Actress and Bishop, Birmingham on Wednesday 11th Jan, and Adam and Eve, Birmingham on Monday 16th Jan … just thought I’d let you know!


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