By Gary Coleman
Those hardy souls who braved the Scottish weather and made their way to the aptly named Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh to see Tav Falco, who is on the road to support new album ‘Cabaret of Daggers’, were in for a musical treat.
The relatively small but appreciative audience were suitably warmed up by the psychedelic tinged garage band sounds Of Glasgow’s Primevals when at 9.15 pm The Panther Burns strolled on to the stage and launched into The Shadows number ‘Apache’. As the song finishes the familiar sounds of ‘Oh, How She Dances’ start up and here comes the man himself!
Looking every inch the southern gentleman (but definitely not looking his 74 years) Tav plays the part of circus Carney who is trying to entice us in to see the collection of circus ‘curiosities’ as the band chug along in the background.
A word about the band, this latest incarnation of The Panther Burns rocks! Italians Giuseppe Sangirardi bass, Walter Brunetti drums and Mario Monterosso guitar all look the part and sound like they have played with Tav forever. They are rock solid and provide the perfect backing for Tav to perform his magic.
Tav has 40 years experience and a wealth of material to draw on for his shows and his selection tonight showcases his more exotic side as he comes across as a mysterious character steeped in Louisiana Voodoo conjuring up these magical musical gems. His music is a strange brew which stretches from his rockabilly / hillbilly roots to encompass Latin tango rhythms, Deep South depression blues and cabaret like songs and back again.
Tav sure does love to dance and on a number of occasions he parts company with his guitar and sets off twirling around the stage much to the delight of the audience. We even get some Elvis the Pelvis moves, giving a nod to his rockabilly and Memphis past.
Tav obviously showcases tunes from the new album and for me the highlight of the night was a rendition of Jolie Holland’s ‘Old Fashioned Morphine’. Tav had the audience spellbound as he drawled “Give me that old fashioned morphine, give me that old fashioned morphine, it’s good enough for me”.
Other notable tunes were a lively romp through Alex Chilton’s ‘Bangkok’, ‘Sway’, ‘Sweet Lotus Blossom’, ‘Born Too Late’ and ‘Strange Fruit’. ‘Master Of Chaos’ brings the set to a close and Tav exits the stage to rapturous applause.
After a few minutes the band strike up another instrumental, the haunting ‘Sleep Walk’ which is followed by Tavs reappearance and the final number ‘New World Order Blues’, which sounded like a rant against the current President of the USA, brings the evening to a close.
Tav stays around to sign whatever is thrust at him and pose for endless photos before disappearing into the night to seek whatever it is that keeps him going.
Tav Falco – The man, the legend.
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