Freestyle Music Centre, Poole

The Goddamn Gallows

Tonight is the first of a new club night called “The Crawdaddy Roots Club”, set up by local promoter/musician/entrepreneur Hawkeye Hoolihan. The evening is hosted by the Freestyle Music Centre in Holton Heath, situated in-between Poole and Wareham. The out of town venue is a very versatile place that can host a wide range of events and over the last year Freestyle has become a hub of activity for the local music scene. Tonight’s we are in for a massive treat as Hawkeye has booked; all the way from Detroit, “The Goddamn Gallows” a band that straddle a multitude of genres, and really know how to satisfy any audience.

Kicking off the evening are a four piece band from Southampton the Catratchers; who themselves have just come back from a weekend at the Glastonbury Festival, where they performed three sets on the “Rocket Lounge Stage”. They are showing no signs of post-Glastonbury fatigue, taking off at speed with “Got the Time”; a big tune combining Max’s hard hitting drums with Bryan’s frantic double bass and Jim’s machine gun-delivered vocals. You can’t help but move with the energy they create that radiates from them the moment they step on stage.

The Cat Ratchers
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Their unpredictability is possibly their key as they have no setlist and decide what they are going to play next after the end of each song. They mix 50’s style Rockabilly with ‘backbone train track rhythm’ with modern sounding acoustic and electric guitars to great effect. We are treated to a few of their own originals as well as reworked versions of Queens of The Stone Age’s “No One Knows”, Dr. Feelgood’s “Roxette” and a mash-up combining the Artic Monkeys with The Who. They end on a high with an uplifting version of The Cure’s “Love Cats” which gets the audience joyously singing along with the chorus. The band exit stage right to a huge well deserved round of applause and cheers for their great nights work.

The Goodamn Gallows are given a very warm cider fuelled welcome from the audience at the Crawdaddy Club, who all seem very appreciative to have such a prestigious band here in our manor. From the moment they start you just cannot take your eyes off of them, there is so much going on to see. The blazing banjo, accordion, double bass, guitar, and drums produce a sound like no other. A dark menacing sound featuring many Americana and East European influences. A sort of gypsy meets bluegrass with a large lashing of Punk Rock. Accordion and washboard player Chris (TV’s Avery) is also the bands very own Jester who keeps the audience entertained throughout the whole of the show with various hilarious tricks, including trying to herd the crowd together using a guitar lead.

The Goddamn Gallows
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The band are very versatile and swap instruments throughout, showing off their skills and various styles. Frontman Mikey delivers a vocal sound like no other-fast, furious, sinister, and at times he does a special trick to make a warbling sound. Their set includes the satirical “Y’all Motherfuckers Need Jesus” and the devastatingly dark “In League with Satan” where drummer Baby Genius climbs down from behind the kit to deliver some hellish, satanic-style vocals. The band’s high energy top class performance earn themselves an encore and they return with some full-on Punk Rock in the form of the “City of Hell-A”, ending on a complete high.

This was a relatively smaller gig than these guys are usually used to but they were humble, and after the show they were all at the venue exit to thank everybody as they left. A big thankyou goes out to Hawkeye and Freestyle’s Mark Patrick for putting on brilliant alternative shows such as this. The Good news is I hear there are more shows planned for the future.



Words by Dave Chinery (Chinners)
Pictures by Jon Musselwhite.

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