It was June 22nd and while celebrating a good friends son’s graduation, the discussion of Blood Royal came about between me and The Good Doctor. I recalled that the band would be performing in Columbus and the Doctor and I made an agreement to go experience for our self the vibrations created by these young lads originating from The Island. I would acquire the tickets and he would take care of the lodging needs. Such from a friendship comes a cause of this report. :).
The Good Doctor showed up at the hotel around 7:15 p.m. Our headquarters was room 251 at the Varsity Inn South. For 99 bills, the room was sufficient quarters for they type of experiencing that would soon be experienced. To tell the truth of it, a car seat near a 24/7 urinal would of been sufficient at nights end.
We agreed to bypass the original plan of enjoying a nice dinner prior to the show. Time was growing critically short, so we drove to the venue, with aim of eating at any eatery near the venue. Our dinner ended up being a slice of pizza, that tasted better by the bite, during the intermission between the opening act and the headliner. Once we entered The Basement, all security of civilized behavior became a foreign matter. The Worn Flints opened with a ferocity of energy, creating communion with the corn and wheat spirits that had filtered into the blood stream, by the way of a large hole on the bandwagon. This band is a local band, that just rocks with a flow that lacks conformity, and screams two fisted middle fingers of defiance to the small boxed ears plaguing the prim and proper. We were able to make small talk with a couple of them during intermission after dinner. They seemed to be good lads, and very happy to hear that we enjoyed their performance, and truthfully what artist doesn’t smile at appreciation of their work/play.
It was soon there after, Blood Royal took the stage, but right before, a young man who I thought was the lead singer was puffing anxiously on a smoke outside. The Good Doctor disagreed with my guess that it was the lead singer. The Good Doctor proved his goodness by being correct, but it was interesting to note the nervousness and butterflies the fellow was experiencing. He was with the band, and worked the handling of the instruments and it seemed he was doing some sort of sound board work as well. It is easy to overlook the work performed by the support staff, but their care helps make the magic of a great show become timeless. Even Picasso needed someone to make a brush, the paint and canvass to begin his timeless work/play of arts.
The Basement is a proper place for heavy rock infused blues. It is grimy, clean, but comfortably worn by time. The young Beatles would of felt at home in such a place, I suppose. These two young lads from Brighton, England would make all of us feel at home for an hour. It is a rarity, that a band can perform a live show that exceeds a digitally tracked into oblivion sound track. This performance was one of those rare performances to experience. I was driven into primordial screams of my youth, that memory would label a “Quarry Yell” ( A drugged, drunken yell fueled from the unknown depths of one’s soul while jumping off a cliff into the cool waters of a quarry). A cousin to the Rebel Yell, I am most certain of. As the Good Doctor and I would discuss later, it was a new experience for both of us, to witness one man do two things at once. Micheal Kerr playing the bass and rhythm on the top two strings, and stroking leads from the bottom two strings. It is how it seemed, but I can’t say of this with great clarity, due to the nature of my restricted perception at that time. Ben Thatcher, the drummer was playing with great authority. The breaking of snares resulted from his intensity. Towards the end of the performance, no snares were left, and they may have borrowed a couple from the opening act. Micheal Kerr at one point turned to Ben Thatcher to see as if something was wrong, and Ben just smiled and pointed at the absence of snares. It was easily one of the better shows experienced in some time by the both of us. If you enjoy the digital version of the their creations, be prepared to be blown away by the live performance.
We were able to meet both members after their show, as they were very accessible to those that had experienced the performance. They both seemed very grounded and sense of innocence was present. Very kind, and tolerant of drunken middle aged men and our few inquiries. Micheal Kerr has been playing the bass for four years and is a chef. When talking to Ben Thatcher, he shared that they practice in the same building that Blood Red Shoes also practices in. It is nice to feel a presence of patience come from two young rockers, that show enough talent, that being humble would not be a requirement for their impending success, but humble they appear to be.
During the show, while getting spiritual refills, I met a fellow name Brian. He was wearing a Kyuss shirt. I am always mindful at shows to look for names of bands on T shirts, and after the show we talked a bit outside. Upstairs from the basement, there was a live show still going on. It was in the same place where the pizza slices were sold, and provided us with our dinner. We were stopped at the door by an employee, but The Good Doctor told her, we just wanted some more pizza, and she smiled and let us in. Well, the pizza window was closed, but there was this awfully attractive lady kicking ass on stage with a band. I would soon discover that it was Brody Dalle, the former lead of the The Distillers was performing live. The Good Doctor disappeared into the mosh pit, and I observed the band and the crowd. They were a vicious looking bunch. Crazed tattoos, adorned by silver chains and spiked hair was popular. I felt at home though, because the music was thrashing and Brody was very easy to observe as she gyrated with her six string, bashing out punk infused vibrations. It only lasted for a couple of songs, and their show was over, but it was nice to experience, even if it was just for a couple tunes. It was time for the Doctor and I to move on to a new adventure. The night was young enough for more to be experienced, so experience we did.
We hailed our first cab of the night, and left the car in the parking lot. Neither of us was in any condition to operate a motored vehicle. We would meet the first of three or four Nigerian cab drivers. The Doctor introduced me to the best Long Island Iced Tea concoction in the city of Columbus. I was not warned well enough of the psychological effects this creation would have on my mind. The Char Bar sells these things, and by my observation sells a vast amount of them. It seemed as if most of the patrons were being contaminated by this tea that contained no tea. The crowd seemed well behaved, which told us that we had to go. We had to wander these streets and find something unusual, or not ordinary. The corn and wheat spirits required this of us. The example Christ has set, to heal the sick, and be with the down trodden required this of us, or so it seemed as the night continued to transpire.
We had missed having dinner at a high class joint named Martini by a mere 20 minutes. How we got from there to here is not clear of this writing. And here was an alternative joint. It was a bit obvious by observing the keepers of this inn, who were most gracious and well mannered. We sat at the bar, which was the bottom to whatever was transpiring upstairs. We were amidst, what the righteous and pious of society label freaks and hell bound sinners. Thinking back, the whole night probably was filled by this definition the pious and righteous like to divide us by. Leaves one wondering who the freaks really are and who aren’t or if these words are just limiting little boxes to safely stuff difference into. We were among the indistinguishable. Was that lady a man? Was that man a lady? It was quite interesting, and no threat to either of us, and certainly nothing to fear in how one wants to express themselves. When I was a young man, I would of been full of fear that their difference would rub off, or I might catch it like one catches a flu. We ate Gyros from a cart, than got a cab back to headquarters, and laid down with heads full of good memories that started from an interest in a band called Blood Royal.