I was looking for some fresh voices for my last post on The Everlasting Yeah’s current Pledge for “Anima Rising”, their upcoming LP (go on, click it). Around my computer I know Steve Pittaway to be a man of few words, all of them apposite & accurate. He was attending TEY’s gig at the Dirty Water Club in London on the 25th of July so I commissioned (Get Me !) a review if he would be so kind. Well…Steve is, praise Odin, a man who is passionate & effusive about things that matter to him. One of these things is the music made now & then by the members of The Everlasting Yeah. So could we have a warm hand on the entrance (oo-er !) of a new & welcome correspondent to loosehandlebars.
I should state that members of this band and I have a history. Our paths first crossed back in 1985 when, in a previous incarnation, That Petrol Emotion played at Warwick University. From that first gig I never saw them do a below par show. Petrol’s gigs were always exhilarating, life affirming, just what you want & need from live music. I was gutted when they called it a day back in 1994 (Even worse I could not make their last ever gig).
One of the great things about the Internet is it can put you in touch with people from bands that you followed, whose music you collected. Back in 1999 I was able to hook up with one Raymond Gorman, guitar slinger with That Petrol Emotion. I learned that he was still making music and was willing to share it. I liked, no, loved what he sent me and offered words of encouragement when I could. I didn’t realise back then that it would take 15 more years for him to actually be in a position to release new material on CD/ Vinyl. Now that day is fast approaching. Excited much am I.
Raymond, along with former TPE band mates Ciaran McLaughlin, Damien O’Neill & Brendan Kelly re-incarnated as The Everlasting Yeah 2 years ago. From the outset a demo recorded in drummer Ciaran’s lounge made clear that this was a new band, one not content to trade on former glories, pushing things in a different direction. So here I am, Friday 25th of July in the Dirty Water Club, The Boston Arms, Tufnell Park, North London and that special band take to the stage. We are told from the off that what is about to happen is the band are going to perform all of the newly recorded LP “Anima Rising” in full, with a pause in the middle while the LP is turned over to side two!
Bang !… side 1 track 1, “A Little Bit of Uh-Huh, A Whole Lot of Oh Yeah”, an earworm since I first heard it at that low key gig, setting the scene for what is to come. Duelling guitars, a locked in rhythm section, shared vocal duties mainly by Ray and Ciaran, the others chipping in when needed. I am one of the few lucky people to have heard Raymond’s early instrumental demo of the song. Back then it was a wild psychedelic guitar fest, now it is a sing along anthem one that engages from the off. Track 2 “Hoodlum Angels”, again a song given a good kick up it’s A since it was first demoed. There’s now more meat on those bones, Ciaran & Ray’s vocals mesh wonderfully together, Brendan’s bass line holds the whole groove, while Damien’s guitar phrases glides above it.
“New Beat on Shakin’ Street”, chock full of hooks,an instant singalong. At this point I realise, as a drumstick splinters, that Ciaran is playing out of his skin. How he manages to put such intensity and passion into his drumming and vocals is beyond me. “Yeah Yeah Yeah”. Track 4 “Takin’ That Damn Train Again” a song built on a Krautrock foundation, the whole feel of the song one of built up frustration that spills out not only in the lyrics but the whole musical accompaniment . I for one cannot wait to hear the recorded version of this with Mr Terry Edwards on saxophone.
Time to pause and flip the record. Side 2 Track 1, “Everything Is Beautiful”, is a song I first heard Ciaran doing solo (One day this man will release his singer/songwriter LP to the acclaim it deserves.). It is a change of pace in the set, slower than the other tunes. This full blooded version takes the song to another level; wonderful dual harmonies that raise my spirit. “All around the World” is new to me and it is during this song that I realise that this band is more than the sum of its parts. I cannot imagine that the band would sound the same if one member was to leave and be replaced (a good analogy would be the Bunnymen, did they ever really sound the same without Pete Defreitas?).
Track 3, the 12 minute long “The Grind” rocked the Roundhouse at last year’s show and tonight is no different. This tour de force shows The Everlasting Yeah to be a fine tuned machine, their relentless energy spreads to fill the room. “Anima Rising” ends on these high notes. That Petrol Emotion’s encores were usually surprising & spectacular cover versions. This is a new band, things are going to be different. They decide to do a song that they have rehearsed just the once, a brave if a little mad move. Lots of nervous glances between band members but they carry it off..just about !
With that the evening is over and Raymond professes his love for us all. That’s a thing about this band, there is a lot of love around them. In the room you can feel that same love reciprocated. When I try to explain to people why I go to gigs a lot it is for that feeling when band and audience are at one. It doesn’t happen all the time but tonight it did and was worth the trip & will be worth it again for the next time.”