Almost forty years ago, AC/DC wrote ‘Girls Got Rhythm’ and at the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool last night it was proved right by performances from Kim Jennett and support band Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters to a rapturous crowd that showed Saturday night is alright for rocking, not fighting. Sorry Elton!
“We’re Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters and we’re here to play some rock and roll” was the clarion call from Beth that saw them smash into set opener, the aptly titled ‘Hell Yeah’, a statement of intent with the band firing on all cylinders. ‘Bad Habit’, title track from their debut album saw Beth perform like an out of control Tasmanian devil and a few cymbal splashes from Sam Blain counted in ‘Give It All You’ve Got’, from latest album Show Me Your Teeth reminded me how much Beth performed with a Suzi Quatro like suss when I saw her tear Reading Festival apart in 1983. ‘Hell In High Heels’ was a short, sharp tub thumper with huge choruses and blistering guitar solo from Luke Gilmore. Just like its title, ‘Down N Dirty’ was all gutter level sleaze followed by an anthem we can all relate to, ‘I Ain’t Got Nothing (If I Ain’t Got Rock And Roll)’. ‘You And I’ was announced by Beth as “This is part of the set where we get all soppy” but it was far from that as they put the power into this power ballad. ‘Show Me Your Teeth’ grooved along slow and heavy with a spotlight stealing lead vocal. ‘Jack And Coke’ their heaviest song of the set was rightly dedicated to Lemmy and it all ended to soon with some crowd fuelled “Whoa oh oh’s” during the raucous ‘Ready To Rock’.
When your Waterloo Music Bar event poster claims “The first time was unforgettable, this will be legendary” then you have already set your stall out before playing a note and considering her backing band lead by Myke Gray had only twelve hours in two days of rehearsing with some of the band meeting each other for the first time, then the pressure is on but their fourteen song set was nothing short of breathtaking! An intro tape of ‘I Love Rock And Roll’ added even more fuel to an already fired up, packed out venue as the band hit the ground running as ‘Psycho’ was all foot to the floor rock delivered by one of the most intense vocalists I’ve seen and heard for many years, a modern day Janis Joplin for sure! ‘Love Like Suicide’ was a crowd pleasing slice of heavy blues as a full on drum outro closed the bewitching ‘Burn Your Playhouse Down’. ‘Darkest Desire’, “A new song” bodes well for the future and things stepped up a gear with the eco friendly ‘Running Out Of Time’. ‘Counts For Nothing’ was introduced as “One of the first songs me and Myke wrote together” was a slow burner with a clenched teeth vocal as it heavied up midway. Strangely enough, to these ears, ‘Music Is My Remedy’ sounded like ‘Take Me Out’ by Franz Ferdinand unless it was the Motorhead Roadcrew Pale Ale playing tricks on me.
‘Over You’, dedicated “To my ex boyfriend” was chock full of punky riffing and a full blooded race to the finish line outro. ‘Skin On Skin’ was introduced as “It’s all about sex, sorry mum!” had some killer choruses amongst the bombastic grooves. Like an excited child, Kim burst out “We’re playing Download next week” as ‘Unbroken’ saw Kim venture into the crowd once more and onto the staircase to deliver a spine tingling vocal for a rollercoaster ride of emotions throughout this ballad. ‘Let Me Be The One’ kicked out the jams with striding riffs and a vocal so high, plastic glasses were a must. Another ballad to their arsenal came from ‘Tripping’, introduced as “Acoustically ish”. ‘Now That You’re Gone’ was sung in the crowd and all I could see was a sea of smiling faces. Kim seemed to be wearing her heart on her sleeve here and it was my highlight of the set which ended on the barroom boogie rhythms of encore ‘Take Me Home’ that ended with the band taking well deserved bows to an audience who literally took the roof off!
I’ll leave the last words to fan Juliet Sampson who had travelled down from Falkirk who described Kim as a “Pocket rocket!”.
WORDS : Dennis Jarman
PHOTOGRAPHY : Simon Dunkerley