Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vambo Rools in Hot City

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band is alive and well and living in Parma and Brooklyn and Cleveland Ohio. Playing under the pseudonym of Vambo Rools, SAHB can still rock the house!

Last night the Winchester Music Hall in Cleveland played host to a special tribute to the Sensation Alex Harvey Band, one the greatest things to come out of Scotland since Glenlivet. "Alex Harvey" doesn't seem to have aged much (unlike the hundreds of avid fans that turned out and overwhelmed the tavern's bartenders), but like his audience, Alex seems to have put on a few pounds.

Two fantastic 80 minute sets were unleashed on a big crowd that pretty much all knew where every chord, fill and cymbal crash were supposed to be. The band had the chops to pull it off. Playing much better than their MySpace videos, all aspects of the band were on. The latter part of the second set got a bit sloppier, but I am not complaining. It was a real rock show and a comprehensive tribute. The band consisted of two guitars, keyboard, bass and drums, with "Alex" playing nothing except an (awful) harmonica on one number. Alex and Zal Clemenson were in character ("Zal" with face paint and miming). "Zal" taunted Alex and chided the band in mime throughout the show.

Schoolboy's 96 kHz 24 bit Zoom H2 recording filled 5.85 GB! It sounds very good, and shows how nice the sonic balance was (there were only a few times where leads were a bit buried). I didn't remember the Winchester having the main PA speakers that were hanging from the ceiling. They looked like the same ones the Beachland used to have in the tavern, doubled, and they sound better in the Winchester's bigger room. Those same speakers used to be very harsh at the Beachland.

From what was said on mic, it seems like this is the second time they have played this tribute but that the shows may be at one year intervals. For Sensational Alex Harvey Band fans who missed it, it's a SAHB story - you missed the "Last of the Teenage Idols" but hopefully you will get another chance.

Vambo lives!