See Seasick Steve

16 May 2007

I’ve just come back from one helluva gig.

I have to thank my friend the Inkystrator. She dropped me a line some time ago, said I should see this guy Seasick Steve when he comes to London, since he plays the blues. I downloaded a couple of free tracks from his website, liked ’em, so I bought a ticket for the gig. It was in Camden’s Electric Ballroom.

The first act was called The Priscillas. I really enjoyed them: they were an all-girl rock band from London that I’d put somewhere between The Ramones and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Girlie outfits with big grins and lots of guitar.

The second act was called The Crimea. They sucked, hard. They thought they were good, and cool, and melodic. In fact they were awfully boring, with cringe-worthy affectations and lyrics. They reminded me of Jack Black’s band in School of Rock after he leaves it, when they become middle-of-the-road. Apparently you can download their entire album for free from their web site. I wouldn’t bother.

But Seasick Steve. Well, he was truly something else. He’s the real blues deal: a hobo for much of his life, who’s only achieved recognition very recently. His guitars are all pieces of shit: one has three strings (its state when he bought it off a friend), and one is a single string on a box with tin cans attached. All have string for straps. He wears overalls and a John Deere hat. He stomps on a wooden box to keep the beat. He tells funny stories about Tennessee and riding trains.

All these wouldn’t mean squat if Steve couldn’t play, but he surely can. He plays guitar on his own country blues songs, and sings in a fashion that touches on soul. He’s energetic and genuine and interesting and deep South (the first thing he said was, “This song is about my dawg”). It was a truly awesome night of singalong, foot-stompin’, gut-bucket blues.

EDIT: review.


  1. […] with the two acts that had been their openers. To my surprise, one of them was Seasick Steve, the awesome blues guitarist I saw last month. The other were ’70s/’80s little-acclaimed synth-punk pioneers Suicide. The encore […]

  2. Saw the big man last night at The CockPit in Leeds. He was awsome. Recorded some on my phone which can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU3Ij2lq23E

    Recommend seeing Sea Sick!

  3. […] the music. The whole event was emceed by slide-blues late-in-life success story Seasick Steve (who I saw a couple of years back). Seasick […]

  4. […] production for other artists, but has come into his own as a performer in the last decade or so. I saw him twice in London. He was here to play the Byron Bay Bluesfest, and I figured I enjoyed him enough […]

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