I spent three days in Brussels at the end of last week. The first half of the visit was business, the second half pleasure. The pleasure was very pleasurable, particularly last Friday night when I managed to take it two good gigs. Just call me Two Gigs Goggins from now on. Or even Two Good Gigs Goggins if you prefer.
We will deal with the second gig tomorrow. Tonight let us concentrate on the first one - Heavy Trash at the Ancienne Belgique, with support from Bloodshot Bill. Heavy Trash, for those of you not familiar with them, are basically Jon Spencer's Rock 'n Roll Explosion. The Ancienne Belgique is Brussels' premier rock venue. And Bloodshot Bill is hard to describe - a one man band who combines the guitar sound of Link Wray, the hair of Elvis and a range of peculiar voices including Elmer Fudd and Vic Reeves' pub singer. He was quite fun but I'm not sure I would want to stand through a full set.
The Ancienne Belgique is a very civilised venue - a separate bar where you buy your drinks with "AB" tokens, lockers for your coats, a performing space that can be set up for different capacities depending on who is playing (850 capacity on the night I was there), that sort of thing.
Heavy Trash on the other hand are not a very civilised band (or, rather, they make a very uncivilised sound). And therein lay a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. It was a good band, a good venue, but the wrong combination. Heavy Trash were pretty impressive, but I imagine that if I had seen them in a venue a third of the size with a low ceiling, sweat dripping off us all and beers being passed over the heads of the crowd from the bar at the back I would have been completely blown away. Hopefully that opportunity will arise in the future.
Here are a couple of numbers. "In My Heart" closed the main set - they only did a miserly eight songs in the encore - went on from the best part of ten minutes, and was the stand-out moment of the set.
"They Were Kings"
"In My Heart"
And here is a rather peculiar video of theirs: