Gig review: EDDIE & THE HOT RODS – Relache Festival, Bordeaux, 18 August 2016

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

They came, they saw, they waited for the sun to go down and then they finally conquered!

Eddie & The Hot Rods didn’t so much tear Bordeaux apart, as gently give it a poke in the ribs to remind a town schooled on garage rock, that the British pub equivalent will give any band a run for its money.

The Rods are not so much a punk band as a raw, loud, r&b influenced rock and roll band, fuelled by punk energy and buoyed by an anthem ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ that ignites tonight’s excited crowd and will probably continue to do so years after the band finally call it a day.

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

Eddie & the Hot Rods might not quite have achieved the “mythical” status given them by some of their French fans tonight, but they remind a sizeable early evening crowd that there’s nothing quite like a shot of Canvey Island R&B to give a cross generational audience a taste of how it used to be, and arguably how it still very much is!

Nigel Bennett with Eddie & The Hot Rods by Anne Pioton

Their history alone provides a suitable context for the spectacle of their sexagenarian harp playing vocalist Barrie Masters giving vent to ‘Teenage Depression’. But it’s the band’s combination of power, passion and twin guitar led, bone crunching rock and roll that carries them through to a triumphant finish.

And what power they have. Their blood and thunder rhythm section of drummer Simon Bowley and booming bass player Dispter Dean make thing easy for the indefatigable front man Masters, who weaves in and out of Chris Taylor and Members and Vibrators guitarist Nigel Bennett’s brief but brutal guitar bursts.

EDDIE & THE HOT RODS – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

In fact, tonight’s show is actually two gigs in one, with a brief two-number cameo by the Dipster-led Headline Maniac whose kick ass combination of growled vocals, sharp edged licks and potent hooks is best evidenced on ‘I Want All Of Your Love’.

Headline Maniac – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

It is also Dipster with the body language of a smiling club bouncer and a towering presence who cajoles the crowd to clap along and join in the call and response moments.

Eddie & The Hot Rods – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

In many respects the band is the sum of its timeless influences. They have the early career swagger and rough edged r&b feel of The Stones, they lean on Dr. Feelgood’s hard driving r&b style and they have a punk irreverence that is restrained by an adherence to primacy of their songs.

There’s the thunder of Steppenwolf, the power of J. Geils Band and an unrelenting energy that carries Barrie Masters along with them.

Barrie Masters by Annie Pioton

They reach back into their early back catalogue for the well received ‘Life On The Line’, while ‘Telephone Girl’ provides the litmus paper that sparks the set. ‘Quit This Town’ provides real bounce and the throw away ‘Why Should I Care Anymore’ is a great foil for the twin guitar set up.

Eddie & The Hot Rods – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

Then the magic happens. The sun goes down, the lights sparkle, the band thunders into a gloriously ragged ‘Hard Driving Man’ and then unwittingly eclipses tonight’s American biker band headliner with a crowd pleasing anthem ‘Born To Be Wild’.

Eddie & The Hot Rods – Relache Festival, Bordeaux 18 Aug 2016

They rap thing up with a a communal sing-along of Van’s ‘Gloria’ and depart with an extravagant outro and a final bow at the front of the stage.

In a corner of South West France, Eddie & the Hot Rods deservedly remain “mythical”.

Review Pete Feenstra
Photos by Anne Pioton & Pete Feenstra

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 7 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 January 2021.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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