Cue the break, where the now heaving room departed to the lower bar to refuel and witness the fall-out from a thirtieth birthday party, of which there was plenty.
Then Rufus Coates & The Blackened Trees took their places and if any band can wield a stage just by standing on it, then these guys can. With an intense, mysterious little drummer, sat hunched and gaunt behind his kit, an erect and lofty bass player full of banter and grin, a softly spoken and zen-like rhythm guitarist, A be-bearded and haired front-man in sagging suit like it had been lived in since the nineteen forty-fifties and a first lady, tiny and impish, warm and full of delight in a dark moody dress with knackered converse. That was before they even began a song! This band just look cool! Not contrived or meant or thought deeply about, they just exude a mystery and vibe that makes you want to pay attention.
Then the music began…. and they were still fucking cool. All sumptuous bass-line, simple but well delivered guitar strumming, soft drums played with obvious skill and touch, brooding bear-like vocals from Rufus and accompanying vocals by Jess of shamanic proportions, through the set she managed to call down murders of crows, ancient ritual visions and evidently has the power to tap into the nearest ley-lines and channel Gaea herself through her tiny frame. I have to say that it's a rare thing for me to be moved to the point of goose-pimples, but those feckers were crawling all over me watching this band. With songs deeply rooted in dark things like regrets, resentfulness and sleeping children, Rufus Coates lyrics are full of the classic imagery of bleak landscapes and dramatic skies. The whole band has a beautiful sound, full of drama and low lush notes delivered on the bass and with enough space in the compositions to add an air of odd suspense, Rufus Coates & The Blackened Trees are a living example of simple can be best when you have all the components spot on, that being, charisma, ballsy voices, musicianship, song writing skill and incredibly powerful performance abilities.. and that extra special quality, the obvious fact that this band absolutely love what they do and all get along really well and put one hundred and twenty percent into their set… and adore Guinness.
The whole night ended absolutely full of goodness, as usual the quota of Medicine doled out to all concerned exceeded recommended doses and January mattered not..
Then later there was a massive private party at a friend's house and we all lived happily ever after..
Until next month.