- 31 Jul 17
Much like Marc Bolan before me, I love to boogie, and there are no finer purveyors of the rockin’ two-step than blues, barbecue and bourbon advocates ZZ Top. Right from the off, with ‘Got Me Under Pressure’ from 1983’s chart eating Eliminator, we get what we came for – R&B dirtier than a mechanic’s rag.
‘Waiting For A Bus’ and ‘Jesus Left Chicago’, from 73’s high-water mark Tres Hombres spotlight how telepathic a band become after playing together for a hundred years. Billy Gibbons is the master of why-play-a-thousand-notes-when-I-can-say-it-all-with-one approach, and the rhythm section of Frank Beard and Dusty Hill are as tight as a Scotsman in a recession The awesome beards, sunglasses and hats look reminds you of a bunch of lads on a stag who’ve decked themselves out in the local fancy dress shop, just for the laugh.
‘Gimme All Your Lovin’, forever the sound of MT USA and Sunday afternoon to those of us of a certain age, and ‘I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide’ have the whole room throwing shapes, Hot Press included – “Like a young Baryshnikov!” was the considered opinion of one onlooker as I cut a rug to ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’, a riff dirtier than an Italian full back. Alongside Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’, they have a go at Merle Travis’ ’16 Tons’ and Buck Owens’ ‘Act Naturally’, slathering the country standards in Texas molasses until they taste like their own concoctions. ‘Cheap Sunglasses’, ‘Chartreuse’ (yes, they rhyme it with “big caboose”), ‘Sharp Dressed Man’, and ‘Legs’ have the crowd, many sporting yards of hair and denim and looking like they haven’t left their bunkers since disco broke through, nearly combusting.
They encore with the lethally groovy one-two punch ‘La Grange’ and ‘Tush’, played on furry guitars, all you could ask for really, and finish by giving ‘Jailhouse Rock’ a good kicking. Bloody marvellous.