Well, it's only rock'n roll

MIDNIGHT RAMBLERS

Location: Ovenpaa
Audience: Filled
Concert: Kjetil Vold

Bad cover bands are about the worst thing there is. Bad cover bands stink. Most cover bands stink. But some are good. The Stones specialists Midnight Ramblers definitely belong to the category "good cover bands". And like other good cover bands - such as the Neil Young specialists Young Neils - MR demonstrate a profound knowledge of the subject "RS". There are two principal reasons why MR rise above the multitude of cover bands. 1. The band can play. Close your eyes - just listen to the sound, the expression - and you go right back to the Stones' heydays in the beginning of the 70's. 2. The band knows the Stones' mythology. When they play KR's star turn "Happy" from "EoMS", it's only natural that guitarist TO, as a matter of course, takes over the microphone. I.e: The band doesn't fool around, either with what is the core of RS's musical expression, the mixture of blues, gospel, country and rock'n roll, or with the mythical superstructure - RS as the dark mystery of rock. You do not fool around with Stones' fans. They quickly expose dance bands and mediocre party entertainers who play "Honky Tonk Woman" in a puny boogie fashion, with low mixed guitars only because they think the audience wants to have just that. MR were playing around with vulgar, sexy blues and making indecent proposals to the ladies among the audience, before smashing in the first hit: "JJF". Close and sweat and with lots more guts in the kick-off than what the Stones themselves can accomplish now towards the end of the 90's. And that did it! The audience had been won. And towards the end of the first set - strangely enough during the D number "Like A Rolling Stone" - the band was totally drowned by the audience's refrain: "like a rolling stoooooone". Sensibly enough, the MR concentrates on numbers from the sixties and seventies. The eight man band further served strong versions of "Bitch", "Sister Morphine" and "Brown Sugar", in which the horn section, comprised of the veteran Arne Kolstad (trombone) and Gisle Myklebust (sax), hit like a "shot" - although in connection with the RS this expression might be somewhat unfortunate. The rest of the band? The vocalist Jan Gulliksen, as vocalists do, arrived half an hour late, but had nevertheless as big a mouth as Jagger the Lip himself. The guitarists TO and KV may not look as cool as misters R and W, however, their interplay sounds at least as good. In the rhythm section BH (base) and YM (drums) create tight, concise rhythm patterns - and both of them are far less reminiscent of sleepwalkers than the original rhythm duo CW and BW. And JB completes the sound picture with his keyboard/piano play with all the dark nuances of rock. MR isn't innovative. Per definition, a cover band cannot be that. But the Ramblers gang are technically good copiers, there is no doubt about that.