Bob Log III, Stompin’ Thompson, Krank Williams: Phase One, Liverpool

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Bob Log III

Liverpool had been spoilt by a day showered in terrific live music. So could the man of a mysterious identity, Bob Log, sign the day off in a fitting way? Getintothis’ Harry Rigby went to find out.

I headed to Phase One, Seel Street fully aware of the performances the one man hillbilly blues band can lay on.

I’d never been in this venue before so I was quite excited to check the place out. Fair to say, it has it all. Great beer, great staff, great music on, a shed-full of vinyl and a sound shed to listen to records in. When a lover of music says they’d like to run their own a bar, this is the blueprint.

A buzzing atmosphere developed as the place filled up, speaking to Chris behind the bar they were expecting a busy evening. I chatted to the DJ, Howl at the Moon Joe, who gave me the heads up on tonight’s support, Krank Williams and Keith ‘Stompin’ Thompson both of which are local lads and formerly in a band together. As we chatted, Joe kindly passed me a bottle of his Howl at the Moon hot sauce, so cheers for that mate, I’ll proceed with caution.

Krank walked up on stage, typically dressed in dungarees and a straw hat. He sat in front of his customised stomp suitcase and picked up his American jerry can guitar. The crowd pulled in as Krank played his own styled covers of classic songs.

A great set, delivered with a no nonsense, Liverpudlian personality finished leaving everyone warmed up for the second act of the evening. Word really does travel about Bob, I chatted away with members of the crowd; some were here for the music the rest are here for the entertainment. There seems to be a bit of a cult status about the bloke.

Keith hit the stage next with his motor oil baseball cap and checked shirt, he certainly looked as though he was in the right place. A more authentic country sound played out as he drank his whisky straight from the vessel.

Throughout a soulful set, Stompin’ showcased his skills as a one man band playing harmonica, slide guitar and kick drums all at once. I spoke to him outside after his set, he seems to be his own worst critic. If he reads this he should back himself a bit more because the crowd loved him.

I also bumped in to Hayley, Bob’s girlfriend who travels everywhere with him. I took the chance to joke: ‘does he always wear the helmet?’ she laughed, ‘No, it stinks!’ So, there is a man behind the mask…

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Back inside an unmistakeable twang rang out of hollowed guitar with a healthy dose of distortion. A rhythm grew and everyone’s eyes set to the stage. But where was the sound coming from? I glanced behind me to have to look twice.

There he was. Dressed in his Evil Knievel stunt suit and helmet he stared a runway to the stage. He shoehorned his way through the crowd, some of which hadn’t realised where he was yet, playing his own walk-on track he gave the start of his set a captivating impact.

He toyed and joked from the off as heckles were exchanged for laughter between himself and the on-listeners. We were all galvanized as the show unfolded. Again, like the acts before, I was amazed by the sound Bob created by himself. His fuzzed up mic and guitar likened to Seasick Steve and the chorus from Beck’s Where It’s At.

From track to track the crowd became more involved, blowing up balloons for Bob to stamp on, carnage commenced as folk danced on stage, taking pictures with Bob and inflatables flew across the room from all angles.

This was all whilst the man still played numerous instrument at once! It was wild. As the set came to its finale. Bob rattled on in the same vein, his guitar crying with sustained metallic clangs, he played his own walk-off track as the crowd cheered and whistled till he was no longer insight.

There was no appearance for the reputable dingy I’d heard about but the crowd were satisfied as the lights lifted the lid on full throttle evening.

Bob Log, Musician, Comedian and Entertainer. Signed.

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