As you recline outside El Charro Cafe, Mount Lemmon in the distance, sipping on a cold Modelo and chomping down on a delicious El Vegan Burrito, it's difficult to see what's not to like about Tucson.
I read somewhere that Bob Log III was bored growing up in that Saguaro filled haven, but boredom has never been an issue here. After all, Kid Congo Powers has recently made Tucson his home , so it can’t be all bad. Can it?
In order to set the record straight, we had no choice but to front him out and also ask how he found playing in London.
Bob Log III was playing The Garage, Islington. It’s always a slow fill at The Garage on a school night but the dedicated and excitable crew that had been champing at the bit for ‘Doors Open’ had quickly descended on the merch’ stall to ensure they could snaffle some top quality promotional items that, perhaps, can only be found at a Bob Log show.
Naturally, the iconic purple T-Shirt depicting a triumphant Bob sat astride a unicorn leaping over a rainbow had already sold out in some sizes but there was still an opportunity to snatch some beautiful coloured vinyl, some hot sauce (for the adventurous chefs out there) or even a limited amount of Bob’s bottled bath water. Without opening said bottle, one could only imagine a heady, intoxicating blend of Bob’s manly sweat, Radox bath crystals and perhaps a hint of Patchouli oil. A bottle of this sacred mixture should surely be kept tightly closed, held precious, not to be opened but for an extreme emergency. Indeed, our prized item shall sit in the refrigerator between the Holy Water and a vial of Elvis’ tears.
Two acts preceded Bob Log III. First up was post punky Daemönik Fonce, fronted by Stewart and Paul Summers and, if we are not mistaken, ex Tits Of Death, Hannah Edgreen on keys.
Building the excitement to a climactic level, in the middle slot, was Thomas Trudax, a musical and mechanical genius whom we shall read about in a later stand-alone review.
Like an overfilled balloon or a heart stuffed with love, or an overfilled heart-shaped balloon over-stuffed with love, the crowd seemed ready to burst, and like those balloons that were soon to follow, burst they did.
Quietening the crowd before commencing his full-on assault, Log requested beer, vodka and a dry white wine be placed strategically on the stage, where he couldn’t accidentally kick them over. Dutifully, various audience members brought forth the liquor and Bob briefly gave his introduction. “On cymbals, left foot. Over here on the bass drum we got right foot. This is my left hand that does all the slide work, right hand does the pickin’. My mouth hole does most of the talkin’. And you’re looking at my finger. My finger is an asshole”.
Bob Log began thrashing, smashing, plucking, picking, stomping, stamping and toasting his way though a blistering, mind bending set at The Garage. The trademark Dingy was on-stage, but there was to be no Dinghy surfing this night, and alas, no Boob Scotch either but it didn’t matter, Ducky would eventually take centre stage and, much to the alarm of the beleaguered security staff, there was lots of toast to be made.
Yessir, the toaster was out and Bob summoned the masses to make toast at will, stating ‘his songs actually sound better if you can smell toast’. Again, the audience obeyed; disregarding security, jumping the barrier and feeding the toaster two slices at a time. As the bread heated up and the smoke bellowed, Bob began burning up the stage with more mesmerising licks and riffs.
To keep the party going, a sack of balloons appeared and was split between Bob and the crowd. Stamping on a balloon would then signal the start of a song. It was one of the funnest parties you could want for.
What was that you said. How do essentially the same sounding songs with the same chords and mostly the same rhythms sound so good?
Bob Log has got some masterful skills, he’s clever. He may not have a monkey paw for a hand but he has rather long fingers and is a man with extraordinary coordination. Let’s not forget, Bob Log is a one man band, he is the music; the guitar and drums a continuation of him. I tell you, Bob Log knocks Sonny Landreth into a cocked hat!
Islington is a whole world away from Tucson and Bob Log wasn’t on top of Mt Lemmon now, he was on top of the god damned world.
With a short breath between high speed jangling Blues riffs, Ducky was brought to the front of the stage, filled with Bucks Fizz and the audience were beckoned to participate in drinking from the Duck. Drink they did. At first carefully, one by one before madness once again took over and the entire contents of Ducky were poured over the front row.
It may have been a health and safety nightmare, but it was sticky fizzy fun for all.
The pauses were brief, no sooner had the enigmatic Bob Log III congratulated himself or thrown out a victory salute, then the attack would continue. The Rubato tempo, slowing and speeding up in waves, a Tsunami of masterful guitar skills.
The final overpowering of the security came about with a sea of people washing over and around the barriers following Bob’s suggestion that anyone who wants a selfie with him should come up and sit on his knee and take one. It was an insane clamber of bodies; drunk, sober and everything in-between. A stage rush frenzy akin to the midnight chimes on New Year’s Eve, a complete chaotic melt-down.
Possibly, this may be one of the best nights of many peoples lives. It was Hasil Adkins, Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Clownvis and more all rolled into one. This was the kind of show you wanted to tell the world about, the kind of show where you might find Lux Interior lurking in the wings. Who knows? Maybe he was.
Above all, it was a unique rock and roll dance party, as weird and wonderful as us.
Bob Log III played The Garage, Islington on 2nd March 2022
Words and live photographs copyright of 1st 3 Magazine
Not to be reproduced in without prior permission, unless you are Bob Log III