Live Reviews

  The Mandrakes, If All Else Fails, The Dead And Buried live at Cafe Drummond in Aberdeen

cafe drummond

You know how it is. You go one hundred miles from somewhere and you end up nowhere and, no matter where nowhere is, the song remains the same as, indeed, do the traffic wardens – both way beyond the age where a little blue pill might improve their attitude, by the way – in their eternal quest to harass the working man. However, that’s more than enough philosophical insight for one night so back on track we go. The venue? Café Drummond.

The band? The first band anyway? That band was The Dead and Buried and, for once, they were a band well named. I can’t actually remember seeing a band before that seemed so determined not to impress anyone but The Dead and Buried were such a band. In fact they were so leaden and laconic that I got to thinking that they were actually being ironic. Probably not though.

Next on, and a whole lot more invigorating were If All Else Fails. The singer belted out the songs like he had been weaned on Jack Daniels rather than his mother’s milk, the drummer beat the skins like a man determined to get the girl at the end of the night and the rest of the band simply blasted out a wall of sound. That might not sound like much but when you add the crash and burn philosophy that comes with youth, these five young guys, if you will excuse the cliché, rocked the house.

Older and wiser, and like the preceding bands also from Montrose, were The Mandrakes. Blessed with a singer - Victoria Knowles – with a voice that was a force to be reckoned with, it would have been hard for this well practised rock band to fail and, obviously well rehearsed, they set about the task in hand whilst demonstrating no small amount of technical prowess.  You don’t see many bands making that kind of effort these days but The Mandrakes did.

Outside in the street the homeless and the hopeless were making themselves comfortable. Like I said at the start, no matter where you go it’s the same old song.

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