Sunday, 20 March 2011

Random Review #32 Hootie & The Blowfish - Musical Chairs

C4S2CD5 Hootie & The Blowfish are a very special band to me and I know a lot of people who only know only know me through Twitter will recoil in horror at that statement but I love them and to some extent some of their songs map out my life. 

Before I get started on the review I must tell you about the only time I have seen Hootie & the Blowfish live. They toured this album across the UK and I was lucky enough to have front row balcony seats at Newcastle City Hall. Hootie were the first headlining band I ever saw come out and play with the support band. I have subsequently seen Counting Crows and Dave Matthews Band do this but this was a surprising first for me. Hootie seemed really pleased to be playing music and this was borne out later in the evening.  Industry standard dictates that headline bands come on at 9pm and play anyway from 1 ½ to 2 hrs. Well Hootie & the Blowfish came on at 8.30pm and after a couple of songs announced that they had come on early as they had heard that the car park opposite closed at 11pm and they didn’t want anybody to miss any of the show. (the gig was at Newcastle City Hall and they were correct in that there was an NCP car park opposite where a vast majority of the audience would park and it did close at 11pm) as the gig continued the band started talking off mic, they then started to check their pockets and a member of the road crew was called onto stage, given something and dispatched.  Darius Rucker (singer) then said that they were having a great time and had therefore dispatched a roadie with the contents of their pockets (about £100 if I remember rightly) to find the guy managing the car park with a message that here was £100 keep the car park open as the audience would be late!! Sure enough they played well over 2 1/2  hours covering The Police (they always cover a band from the town they are playing) and KC and The Sunshine Band just because the guitarist started the rift and they decided to ‘get funky’. So there you go I reckon I have been to in the regional of 300 -400 concerts and I still rate this as one of my favourite gigs, I remember having a  ridiculous grin on my face for the gig and for hours after.

So to the music,  I have a Hootie and The Blowfish bootleg CD,  I have all Darius Rucker’s solo CDs (one that I would categorise as Nu-Soul and includes an amazing duet with Jill Scott and a rather dodgy duet with Snoop Dogg and his 2 forays in Country music Hootie with banjo’s) which kind of tells you how much I like this band!

Right if you haven’t stopped reading by now then I apologise and I’ll get on with my review! This was H &TBF’s fourth studio album if you include the album of covers Scattered, Smothered and Covers. They never really matched the sales of their debut Cracked Rear View but as the sold more than 15 million copies of that it was always unlikely that they would!

So to the music I always skip track 7 Bluesy Revolution the title says it all, it poor if I’m honest, the rest are typical Hootie, Darius’ rich vocals, great harmonies and songs about love, past, present, and future. My favourite track s by a country mile are, Only Lonely, What’s Going on Here, and What Do You Want From Me Now.  Only Lonely documents a relationship that will never happen  for any number of reasons but talks about “when you close your eyes in your deepest thoughts, do you see me”  I suspect that most people have felt like this at some point in their life and if you haven’t you're lucky.

I will continue to buy albums released by Hootie & the Blowfish and Darius Rucker as I will always find something to like, if I had guilty pleasures then this would be one, but I don’t so with my Hootie badge firmly on my sleeve I’ll say listen and love or at least forgive me as we all have some bands like this in our collection!

Mark 7/10 

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