I remember having heard Jason and the Scorchers on a live recording from Roskilde Festival somewhere around 1985. I remember that I liked it a lot, but considering that it is some 23 years ago, I really didn't know what to expect from yesterday's gig at Pumpehuset. The place was half full or half empty depending on how you look at it, but the people who were there were pretty dedicated, and some of them were even wearing cowboy hats. The place clearly had some kind of a redneck vibe to it.
Jason and the Scorchers play some kind of country rock cow punk and it certainly works well, especially in the faster songs. The guitarist Warner Hodges certainly rocks, and he know more than a few tricks that would impress skilled heavy musicians. He did lots of spinning around and some cool "loop" trick swinging his guitar around. Apart from that, he plays really well too. Jason Ringenberg has a good country voice and he is a great showman dancing around and chatting with the audience in between the songs, and he even ran into the audience at one point. The drummer Pontus Snibb and bassist Al Collins were a bit more anonymous.
Like I just said the faster songs worked great. At one point however, the drummer picked up a guitar and joined Jason singing a ballad. It sounded like the slaughter of a screamin' cat. Seriously, they shouldn't attempt that ever again. Fast songs only, skip the ballads, please.
They played two sets of probably 50 minutes each. In between there was a very long break giving the bar a chance to sell a lot of insanely priced 42 kroners beers. Anyway, the second set was clearly the best, and the band really rocked in a country cow punky way. Hard to really understand if you weren't there. The setlist included "Absolutely Sweet Marie", their 1985 hit "Shop It Around" and a great cover version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads".
To sum it up, I didn't remember wrong after all these years. This is indeed a great live band, and quite charming too. Not the worst band in the world to spend a Thursday night with!