29 October 2019 (gig)
29 October 2019
Performance: supporting action, Manuela Iwansson, Sweden’s riposte to apathy, all Patti Smith poise meets Bonnie Tyler’s pomp with Slick, Grace, a jump-suited one-woman tour de force of 80s’ AOR rock theatrics and Euro-visionary grooves and moves.
Entrance: behold the man behind the mask, resplendent in head-to-toe cow hide, a tattoo-inked tassel-faced troubadour. Mystery resides beneath the façade. His style oozes urban chic meets downtown denimism. Proudly out there and loudly anywhere.
Dance: a playful mix of identity mystique and (re)enacted role-play, one minute he’s Woody from Toy Story gone rogue, the next an (a)lone ranger in need of redemption.
Commence: Opener ‘Big Sky’ announces and pronounces the (bari)tone, the scene is set by the soon to be unseen, Peck’s brutal brushing off ‘I like him better when he’s not around’ a stark signal for the end of the affair.
Nuance: Peck’s voice soars and roars, one minute echoing Orbison’s groan-croon, the next channelling Elvis’s macho-tenderness (‘Roses are falling’), with shades of Isaak’s noir choir, and its sonorous ache resonates. ‘Kansas (remembers me now)’ is a knowing nod and wink to Dorothy’s Oz-mosis, ‘Buffalo Run’ a done-roaming guitar-clanger that defines label Sub Pop’s patronage. ‘Take you back (the iron hoof cattle call)’ is a story-telling TV theme in need of commission.
Romance: an uproarious cover of Bobby Braddock’s ‘Something to brag about’ (famously covered by country-twosome George Jones and Tammy Wynette in 1970) sees our Mild West hero duet with bandmate Brea Salvede.
Circumstance: His duly acclaimed debut LP ‘Pony’ gets a panoramic cinematic outing in a venue renowned for spectacle and history.
Chance: Forever on the run, to where, who knows, a sigh plains drifter, a rustling hustler in search of a prairie rose.