I don’t make it down to Ludlow as often as I used to anymore. I hadn’t found myself in a sweaty basement full of hard-working, hard-drinkings in a while. The allure of DJs and all of that right? A very good friend, a very old friend was performing, and I couldn’t miss it. To the point, he had given me the privilege of being my very first interview. It was a rare full band appearance, so I took my place at the bar, sipping a vintage Miller Light for effect. That Noble Fury has a feeling all to their own. I don’t say this lightly. I have a pretty unapologetic distaste for boring organic music, and I can say pretty confidently, I’ll be kickstarting the rock opera these kids eventually write. There’s a perspective, an understated competence and a stupendous energy about these guys. The man behind the keys, and in my mind, very clearly the John of the group (sorry if this causes arguments), Mr. Blaha has a voice and a sound that I can’t wait for someone at Pitchfork to compare to Blur’s recently revived frontman. This kind of sound is rare these days, and most of the time, it’s phoned the fuck in.
They didn’t need to. They didn’t need to play as hard as they did, but they did. And the crowd loved them for it. In one of those “oh right, this is still possible” kind of moments on the Lower East Side, I watched an indie rock group play their fucking hearts out to a crowd that was eating ever second of it up. It was loud, it was power chords, it was whammy bars, it was a whole lot of sweat and heart. I knew I was enjoying myself, but I wanted an honest opinion.
My companion arrived a margarita or two in, which was important, because her opinion was needed and she was one to tell me when something was terrible. She reminded me what I had thought. They knew what they were doing. The chops were there, the kids were playing their hearts out, they had done their homework, and really made the sound their own. The work was solid, and if I didn’t miss my guess, they’d actually been practicing. I’m not kidding. Parachute Jumper and Elephant have new resonance years after they were written. You know what it’s like to hear someone refer to the Colbert Nation after he’s left the show to replace David Letterman? The sound & the lyrics are something that you’d think date, but actually developed a new resonance and enjoyable character listening to them again. Especially while the guy on the keys is wearing a really sparkly sport coat & the guitar player sweats under basement lights. I sat back, watching people do shots and jam in the crowded, almost moist space. I hope Leftfield paid attention, because that spot was packed. As the set ended, my companion & I melted into the city night after congratulating the conquering heroes. These guys were doing exactly what they needed to, and I was annoyed their next show was in Boston. They’ll come back around, and I’ll be there. Maybe this time, you will be too. This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.
Photo Credit: Carlo Salcedo