The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. There are Harley-Davidsons and a trailer park outside, and on the inside is a kind of air-conditioned faux-trashiness with an undertone of mean that might be real. Beer is cheap, but then it’s also not very good. I drink 2 pints of Badass, not realizing that it is Kid Rock’s brand. Is this cool? I dunno. There is a bar-tender-cum-waitress walking around in sneakers, panties, a vest, tattoos and a lop-sided Mohawk. About half the male members of the audience are heavy, probably quite strong, and wearing baseball caps backwards. The headlining band tonight will be stoner rock kings The Sword, and I assume that their support will be some third-rate metal band that only sounds aggressive when you look the other way. I could not be more wrong.

Mount Carmel turn out to be the best blues-rock band I have ever seen. They are the quintessence of the power trio, taking it right back to Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. These guys really play. There is lead guitar, lead bass, and lead drums. The guitarist/singer has a decent voice. His Telecaster cuts like an aggravated Jimmy Vaughn gifted the dexterity of Gary Moore, with a lazy-looseness to his licks right out of the Jimmy Page book of style. The bassist spends most of the set exploring the middle of the neck, John Paul Jones-fashion, propelling the blues juggernaut home with agility; he is a mellifluous glue, and the platform for the riser-less drummer sitting centre-stage channelling Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham and Michael Shrieve all at once. This is one hell of a gig. An audience member yells ‘you are the best band ever’. Maybe.

One Response to “Mount Carmel, 22nd July 2011”

  1. shirley said

    Your description of Mount Carmel makes me want to hear them play. My kind of music I guess.

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