Thursday, September 13, 2012
On Sunday night I saw the Reigning Sound play Café Mono in Oslo and it’s been a few days now but I’m still almost speechless when I think about it. This band is truly the hands down, flat out, no contest, greatest rock’n’roll band on the planet.
We flew out from Edinburgh on Sunday morning with our passports in our pockets and no tickets for a sold-out show. I had a promise from Greg that he could ‘probably’ get us in but you can understand the slight trepidation.
Openers - Kosmic Boogie Tribe are way better than their PR blurb makes them sound. I feared the worst but their Nashville Pussy by way of the Nomads rawk was good enough fun and they clearly had local support.
The Reigning Sound took the stage and with little or no fuss belted into “Your Love Is A Fine Thing”. It’s been a long time since I last saw them and I had wondered if they’d sweetened up the live sound as they’ve done on record. No, they have not. They powered through more songs than I could count with not a second wasted on each. A lesser band would be so proud of any one of these that they’d draw them out forever but not these guys. I don’t know if any of the songs broke the 2 minute mark. I know I went to the bar (for a couple of those 9 quid beers Norway is so famous for) and missed two songs in the brief time that task took. At some points in the show I found myself thinking, how can they play ANOTHER song so sweet and tender and savage and still sound fresh? Then they did.
The crowd was rapt from beginning to end, every single person in the room being fully aware that they were in the presence of greatness. Everyone being obviously very familiar with the full Cartwright catalogue. They played almost everything you could want, although frequent calls for The Compulsive Gamblers tune “I Want To Be Your Happiness” were ignored.
The band left the stage toward the end, leaving Greg to croon through two solo numbers before returning to blast through two more tunes. And that folks, was all. I’ve only ever saw James Brown receive a longer encore demand. I’m not sure if the band were tired, out of tunes or had just ran over the live music license time but no matter, it could not have been any better than the show we had seen.
I asked them to play Glasgow on this tour, but there wasn’t the space in the schedule. Next time, hopefully Scotland will receive the blessing of the Reigning Sound. Who’s all up for that?