From the self-knitted flowers stitched to support band Petal’s guitar strap, to Shakey Graves’ homemade suitcase kick drum, last Wednesday truly encompassed the essence of Brudenell Social Club as the home of musical grafters and DIY geniuses.
Highlighting the importance of an open discussion of mental health, Petal’s emotional set featured a heart-wrenching cover of Stevie Nicks’ ‘Silver Springs’. Utilising the lead singers skills in her alternate profession of teaching, the crowd were reminded to pay quiet attention, yet some pockets of the audience refused to heed the warning- remaining a loud chattering minority throughout the night, leading to a chastising by Shakey.
Annoyingly unknown to so many, Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s campfire persona, Shakey Graves, has honed his talent since he burst onto the music scene in 2007 and is now the sweet-heart of hometown Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest. Just as he started his career, Shakey donned the stage with guitar in hand and feet on drum pedals for ‘Nobody’s Fool’. Offering his soul up to whoever pays attention, Shakey’s voice of pure Tennessee whiskey shakes your heart as you stamp on the floor in appreciation.
Shakey is a master of is craft. Unparalleled guitar playing matches the beautifully crafted lyrics as if they had always been connected. Each song goes beyond itself, as if the tempo is being swirled in a cauldron of sound, not afraid to ride the calm of the storm into a manic tornado.
As of late 30 year old veteran Shakey has moved into a new era of his career, so has his sound. In his own words “New album. New sound. Sell your suspenders.” Thus, for the first time a band is necessary to perform the new incorporation of distortions and indie rock. ‘Cops and Robbers’ brought the kind of energy like that of a Sundara gig, except for adults with an actual seasoned music taste.
Ending as he began, Shakey returned on his lonesome for an encore of ‘Late July.’ Physically exhausted from playing one of the longest sets I’ve ever witnessed, and from dealing with drunk hecklers who tried their best to put the seasoned musician off at any moment they saw opportune, the great Shakey Graves stamped his kick drum with just as much energy as at his sets inception.
Although Shakey may have lost his signature cowboy hat and suspenders, he is still the showman that has captured many-a heart. I challenge you to sit through the entirety of one of his songs and not feel your foot absentmindedly tapping. Good luck, you’ll need it.
Header Image Credit Dylan Tafel