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Review: 'Angel, Paul-Ronney / Captain Future'
'Live at Electrowerkz, Angel Islington'   

-  Genre: 'Blues' -  Release Date: '15.7.21.'

Our Rating:
Finally I went to my first live gig since Valentines Day in 2020 which is the longest break I've had between seeing live bands since the start of 1984. So for my first gig back we went to this double album launch show at The Electrowerkz, it wasn't held in the old gig room but was downstairs in the room that the last time I visited the venue was the "couples sex room". For this gig they had tables and chairs giving it a sophisticated Jazz club feel to the venue and also pretty great sound.

First on to help launch his London Texas Lockdown album was Paul-Ronny Angel as The Masked Marauder, sorry Guitarist playing along to the intro music before pulling off his bandana and singing One Ghost Town a song of the loneliness of lockdown and how everything that made our lives good beforehand had disappeared.

After Paul-Ronney had welcomed us he then dedicated the next song to one of his fallen brothers and the man who wrote the next song the late great Mr Nick Marsh before playing a very touching version of Last Train To Wherever that left me wanting to jump on a random train out of town.

Paul-Ronney then expanded to a Trio with the addition of Juliet Sutton on Keyboards and Tomirae Brown on vocals for one of the tracks on Paul-Ronney and Tomirae's Seven Spanish Angles EP a very sweet take on Goodnight My Dear that had some great wailed vocals from Tomirae set against the swirling keyboards and guitar.

They were then joined by Mlle Chat Noir on violin for a song inspired by a conversation Paul-Ronney had with Linda Gail Lewis, about her drink of choice back in the day, that turned out to be Wild Turkey & Lemonade a drink that got his imagination going even if he didn't want to try it and the resulting song off the album is a great drinking song that may well tempt one or two people to go and order some Wild Turkey And Lemonade.

We then had a good hoedown version of 2020 (You Been A Pain In The A$$) that had a good call and response section that was practiced before they started and they got almost everyone joining in and clapping along as we all know just what a pain 2020 was.

Paul-Ronney then told us they were going to play a new song that hasn't been recorded yet and that Tomirae was going to play Rain stick on Just Like War that compared the privations of the pandemic with the suffering of war and no they are not the same thing, but both are best avoided if at all possible, I look forward to hearing the recorded version of this in the not too distant future. The Rain Stick worked well to add some atmospherics against the violin and keyboards.

Paul-Ronney told us the next song was never intended to be performed live but that both Juliet Sutton and Mlle Chat Noir had insisted they wanted to play Quarantine Heartache In D Minor the instrumental that closes the London Texas Lockdown album live and so they had helped to arrange the version they played, a very cool instrumental with a very Tex-Mex Spanish edge to it that wouldn't be out of place on the soundtrack to a Western.

Mlle Chat Noir then switched to the musical saw for Seven Spanish Angles that had some of Tomirae's most bewitching vocals that work really well with Paul-Ronney's vocals as they really do a good job of making this classic their own.

Paul-Ronney then switched to Banjo for the next couple of songs the first was a quite laid back Oh Pandemic as they mourn everything we have lost during the lockdowns and how they wish things would go back to normal soon.

We then got the re-worked Pipe And Slippers Man Blues where Paul-Ronney played banjo and kazoo with Tomirae signing and working as kazoo assistant at the key moments in this song about a full on drug maniac who has cleaned up his act and become a respectable Pipe And Slippers Man at last.

They then closed the set with a rousing version of Goodbye To Another Year a perfect song to sing along too. Obviously they did more than enough to get an encore.

For the encore Paul-Ronney came on with the nights most special guest Mr Norman Watt-Roy who I have now been seeing play live for over 35 years and they played a wonderfully stripped back version of The Ramones I Wanna Be Sedated that had Norman pulling most of his signature moves and it was just great to see the joy on his face at playing live again.

They then expanded to a 10 piece for the second song of the encore a great gospel-tinged version of Will The Circle be unbroken that featured Jary from The Urban Voodoo Machine on a single snare drum, Katharine Blake and James Brown Jnr on backing vocals and Captain Future or Alex McGowan on Harmonica this version could have easily gone on for twenty minutes and no one would have got bored as the band left the stage one by one as the song carried on until Norman Watt-Roy was last to leave and unfortunately fell over on the first step off the stage, thankfully he didn't seem to be hurt and got up and shrugged it off.

After the break Captain Future had the un-enviable task of following Paul-Ronney Angel and his all stars and for most of there set they played as a duo of Alex McGowan on guitar and vocals and Ayor Aluong on drums and some backing vocals, they were introduced by Paul-Ronney Angel and opened with the stripped back blues of Wrong And You Like It that I assume is on the Ghostman album that they were launching, I bought a Future Shape of sound album afterwards not Ghostman.

Move On has sparse drumming and some very cool guitar work from Alex as they then did Walk On that showed the sparse blues that they were going for really nicely.

Oh People was about the sort of friends who let you down when you need them to step up the most. The song with the best title of the entire evening was next and the brilliantly titled I Liked You When you Were Gone Now Your Back I'm Not So Sure that was full of the sort of bitter regret and longing that goes sour when you get back with someone you haven't seen for a good while and that feels like a very post pandemic anthem, for me the best song in Captain Futures set.

Zombie Lover featured a wonderful goth fetish dance routine from Estelle Riviere as The Zombie Lover this was totally in keeping with the normal sorts of events that happen at Electrowerkz and was a lot of fun as well as a great song that worked really well with her dancing.

Alex then invited Paul-Ronney Angel and Tomirae Brown up alongside a second drummer for a really cool version of You Gotta Move that was a great set closer.

They came back for an encore of Rise Up their anti-racist anthem and let's face it we all need to rise Up and stop all the hatred and work together to make this world a lot nicer place, as long as we can all go and hear and see shows like this one we still have some hope. This closed a very cool and enjoyable first gig back and here's hoping it won't be too long before I get to see more great live gigs like this one.

  author: simonovitch

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