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JOHN OTWAY/Murray Torkildson
Stripes Bar, Brentford 1 October 2004
I was looking forward to witnessing an Otway gig and expectation
was built further by fans who kept raving about the man and his
music/show. But first we had Otway and the Sweeney's guitarist Murray
Torkildson, who played a blistering and heartfelt set of r'n'b meets
punk numbers. He poured so much into each song as well as deftly
dealing with a good natured heackler! Well worth catching live if he
plays near you.
John Otway is a genius - simple as that. Why? Well he has the
almost unique act of mixing comedy with music - his take on Bob Dyaln
doing the disco classic 'I Will Survive' is pure genius and very
funny. Plus Otway has been on 'Top of the Pops' and had two UK hit
singles, admittedly 25 years between each one, and he played them in
chronological order tonight!
That meant 'Really Free' was up first and he played the b-side 'Beware The Flowers' which came 7th in a BBC
poll for lyrics of the past 1,000 years. But wait, it got better as
he whipped out a hinged guitar and did the Sweet's 'Blockbuster' but
in a style you'd not recognize and just showing how funny the lyrics
really are. Then we had 'Body Talk' where Otway was wired up to a
series of drum pads - Mick Fleetwood uses one but in quite the same
I seriously urge anyone to go see Otway as his show is hard to put
into words. He has musical talent that's for sure but never takes
himself or the music business too seriously. His new hit 'Bunsun
Burner' (done to the disco hit 'Disco Inferno') had Murray back for
guitar/backing vocals and Otway used a therimum - that weird sounding
instrument so beloved by the Beachboys on 'Good Vibrations'. The set
highlight had to be the closing number BTO's 'You Ain't Seen Nothing
Yet' where Otway rolled over the stage and dived off a step laddder -
yes you read that right, a step ladder.
Genius - 'nuff said.
Review: Jason Ritchie