Friday, 11 April 2008

The Gutter Twins @ The Glee Club, Birmingham. April 9th.

Review by John West

Photo by Simon Bamford

So here we are at the Glee Club, Birmingham; a small intimate venue housed within the Arcadian complex, situated close to the Birmingham Hippodrome. The Gutter Twins are Greg Dulli, the former leader of the Afghan Wigs, and Mark Lanegan, ex-Screaming Trees and occasional Queens of the Stone Age member.

This collaboration has been five years in the making and one which the music press are dubbing the 'Satanic Everley Brothers'. I guess this rings true tonight as their performance here is one of a brooding musical intensity. Music for these two rips to the core, it's not about entertainment, it is about revealing your inner soul, your demons and taking your audience with you; if that's where they wish to go. It's purely music. Let's face it, these two have been through so much and they're here to tell you and share their experiences of darker days. It's a meeting of two minds, put together to create dark, dramatic musical landscapes.

They are here to promote their debut album 'Saturnalia' on a brief tour. The album itself is worthy of being one of the albums of the year. Mark Lanegan holds onto his microphone and remains motionless, his eyes barely open.

There is no dialogue here. He simply lets his voice do the talking via his own brand of gothic desert soul music and his familiar bluesy growl. Dulli, on the other hand, is left to take the lead, playing his guitar while his partner simply gazes on. The other musicians help to populate their dark musical landscape which is intense and stark, played within their own brand of rock, soul, dance and desert blues. Particular highlights included 'Idle Hands', 'All Misery/Flowers' and 'God's Children'.

This wasn't music of the gutter; it had a brooding presence which hit straight to the soul.

I strongly recommend you check them out on their next tour.

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