The Debris Rose – Glasgow – live review

The Debris Rose
McChuills Bar, Glasgow
18 August 2012 

The Debris Rose have a penchant for vintage equipment with which they make an impressive noise, worthy of joining the ranks of Glasgow’s finest garage scuzz rock.

I’ve always had a soft spot for musicians who favour original, vintage instruments. There’s a strange homely feel watching someone battering seven shades out of an original Fender Tele and nothing sounds better than a Twin Reverb amp.

The Debris Rose, however, take it to a whole new level. They eschew the substantial PA system at McChuills, substituting it for a couple of road weary Vox speaker columns as well as a wrecked Selmer bass amp and 70’s-style Shure mics on swan-neck stands. There’s probably Lee Mavers-favouring 60’s dust on the valves and all the better for it.

Lead singer and guitar man is Davie Ritchie, something of a legend around these parts. Known as the father of Glasgow R&B he’s fought his own health battles of late and it’s good to see him playing again. That’s proper R&B incidentally, not the sugar-coated, auto-tuned chart bothering variety.

As leader of The Cobramatics (latterly The Cobras), Davie has seen it and done it. Several times.

Tonight he leads his troops through a swaggering set of sweaty garage blues. Seated with guitar in lap, he still projects a menacing energy. The Debris Rose have fluidity about their dirty blues. Bo Diddley riffs and Detroit sleaze ooze through the set.

The Debris Rose don’t play three chords when two are adequate. Finding the groove and locking in gives Ritchie the space his rich, sonorous tones deserve.

Pulling shards of shrapnel from his guitar, he makes it look effortless. The band perspire amongst McChuill’s humid environs and the crowd of believers lap it up.

Adding vocal harmonies to You’re Going Through My Head, bassman Shug Jamieson slides thuggish runs atop Lesley McLaren’s solid drums. Mick McKeown adds vibrato-tinged guitar flourishes dovetailing with Ritchie’s neat telecaster bursts.

A cover of CCR’s Keep On Chooglin’ see’s the band swerve off into a psychedelia-tinged wig-out. Slowing the tempo down with Just For You sees McKeown’s guitar head off into mind-melt territory.

Glasgow has a noble tradition of garage, scuzzy rockers. The Primevals, Beat Poets, Kissing Bandits James King et al. Debris Rose can join the ranks anytime.

All words by Joe Whyte. You can read more from Joe on LTW here.

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Joe Whyte is guitarist with punk rockin' Johnny Cash tribute Jericho Hill and reformed 70's punks Reaction. He has formerly played with End Result, Reverend Snakehips Country Messiahs, God-Fearing Atheists and many, many other failed attempts at rock notoriety. Joe also writes for Vive Le Rock and Louder Than War magazine. He lives in Glasgow and in his other less glamorous life works in mental health.

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