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Monday, 19 November 2012 12:14

Concert review: The Supersuckers (with Fat Tramp Food Stamp and Ded Bugs) raise a little hell at the Firebird, Saturday, November 17

Concert review: The Supersuckers (with Fat Tramp Food Stamp and Ded Bugs) raise a little hell at the Firebird, Saturday, November 17 flickr.com/photos/seanbirm/8180328895 / Sean Birmingham
Written by Tyler Williamson

With dark sunglasses, a darker 10-gallon, a couple of Guy Fawkes-inspired beards and plenty of "rock 'n' roll about rock," the Supersuckers reasserted their self-declared title of "the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world" at the Firebird.

After manning his merch booth most of the night, Eddie Spaghetti, the leader of the group, took his rightful spot front and center of the stage, insisting everyone "Gather 'round, we're here to rock the house."

Sure enough, the leather and denim of the crowd quickly took over the monopoly that the canvas-shoed had enjoyed amongst the front few rows, as the Supersuckers launched into a trademark high-octane set. "Rock Your Ass" provided one of ample opportunities for "Metal" Marty, playing one of three on-stage Les Pauls, to launch into a solo invoking the frenetic tone of Allen Collins. When presented with birthday present offers, Marty, since they were obviously providing the rock 'n' roll, requested the first two of the timeless yet constantly updated "wine, women and song" indulgence -- albeit in a manner befit to a group named after a porn trope.

Eddie's cowboy hat resembled devil horns the more the night went on, as it became clear that the Supersuckers would provide the theme music for nights of debauchery. The crowd understood it similarly, as the band's simultaneous raising of signature gold-top guitars marked the escorting out for a few of the more rambunctious fans. "Pretty Fucked Up," an excellent but tidy setlist staple, and “Supersucker Drive-By Blues," a reminder built to ease the listener back into normalcy, served as high points.

Fat Tramp Food Stamp proved promising as soon as Chum, the overalls-wearing lead singer, brought his own bongos to the stage. Shortly thereafter, the bassist, Brett Pierce, turned out to be the most proficient R&B player in the building while the backup vocalist picked up at least four different instruments. Regardless, the crowd swayed appropriately to the endearing tone as Chum reassured that "she plays whatever (she kindly) feels like." Expecting to hear straight-forward country alt-rock, one instead gets a nuanced band that hangs in the head like a wisp of smoke in the air.

Ded Bugs, taking the stage as if they just finished a marathon session of "Anvil: The Story of Anvil," was backed by dive-bombs, distortion and a love of feedback. Playing songs with titles like "Who Will Save Rock 'n' Roll," Ded Bugs collectively showed an utter abundance of talent, yet never allowed anything to be as important as being loud. Even better, the three non-drummers, when trading off vocal duties, slightly traded styles, and the band fluctuated from the heyday of CGBG's to strip club baroque with each song.

Correction: The review originally named Brandon Shrum as bassist for Fat Tramp Food Stamp. The band's bassist is actually Brett Pierce.

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