Concert Reviews

White Cowbell Oklahoma with The Noise at The Casbah

Photographs by Lee-Ann Richer.

Thursday December 17, 2015 The Casbah in Hamilton was host to two very entertaining bands.

The opening band was “The Noise” from New York. Their sound is post punk which is fast and aggressive with a cool edge. They are promoting their new self-titled album “The Noise”, which was released February 2015. Their 10 song set list contained five songs from their new album, and a well done cover version of Vince Taylor’s, “Brand New Cadillac”. 

The band dressed in black and amps on 15! Front man Arthur King (aka Googy), formerly from the band The Misfits, is a performer that you want to watch. On stage he is aggressive and constantly bouncing around. Then, he’s off into the audience, getting them to sing along. His banter is colourful and not for the weak at heart; however, it’s perfect for the image of this band! In contrast to the x-rated  (yet comical) stage comments, after Arthur King walked around, talking to people at their tables, and wished them a Merry Christmas. Very classy Arthur! He was charming, personable, and sincere. 

The band was very tight and yes LOUD! In chatting with Guitarist Brian Goss, I quickly realized how enthusiastic and passionate these men are about their band. 

After a brief intermission White Cowbell Oklahoma took the stage. This was a paired down show compared to their upcoming Toronto X-MESS show.  But make no mistake, their paired down show packs more into just over an hour that most bands do in a career. They will leave you sitting there after they are done saying, “what the hell just happened?!?!?” 

Musically they are one of the tightest bands I have seen on this circuit. They are no stranger to a stage but they are stranger than you can imagine! The best way to describe this band is, let Frank Zappa, ZZ Top and David Lynch write the songs, and let the choreographing be done by WWF Wrestling and Cirque du Soleil. Cowbells on fire, sparks everywhere and some of the finest musicians you are going to see around! 

Their larger shows have included penises that shoot confetti and Santa Claus, Colonel Saunders, Nixon and Rob Ford bathing in that confetti.  Women wearing pasties and oh yes, let’s not forget the many chain-sawed toilet paper rolls. If you’re in the audience, chances are you will get covered in something!  

Every person in this band EXPLODES with personality! Let’s start with the band ringmaster Clem C. Clemsen, he is one of three kick-you-on-your-ass guitarists! As far as a showman and front man, he is one of the best! He is funny and quick witted. In fact the entire band is that way. It doesn’t matter where you look, everyone is doing something ALL THE TIME! Off to stage left was guitarist Johnny Butterball, who did the most perfect vocals to “Child in Time” by Deep Purple. 

Blind BBQ Wilson was the third part of this guitar trio; finger picking like a Roy Clark who found heavy rock. All the guitarists had very different styles but meshed in perfect unison!  The thundering bass from stage right was held down by South Pawl Jones. Killer sounding Rickenbacker! And this south paw sings too! The groove was locked in along with GM Safari on drums. He is one who you don’t see what with all the clowning on going on in front of him. If you pay attention his timing and groove is the foundation of the music. Last but not least the “more cowbell” man himself Chainsaw Charles. When he is not manning the cowbell he is lighting things on fire or cutting things apart. He is also a one man show! 

As for their ability, their precision is impeccable! They are beyond tight and their change of styles and tempos and dynamics are totally pro. I have seen bands in stadiums that aren’t as tight as these guys. The personality of this band runs deep. Their jams are brilliant and the comments are hilarious that will have you cracking up along with them.  

Their 12 song set included 3 songs off their March 15, 2015 album release “Mixto Sixto”. They were “Kansas City Pity”, “I’m Screamin For It” and their encore song “Magic Fingers”.  The crowd singing along to their popular song “Put The South In Your Mouth”.

My wife (Lee-Ann, photographer for Live and Limbo) and I had the pleasure of chatting with Johnny Butterball. Thanks for providing me with the song list! 

If you like to see this band, catch their X-MESS show in Toronto at Lee’s Palace on Saturday December 19th! If I wasn’t working my butt would be parked at the front of that stage! I can’t wait to see them again. Trust me, GO SEE THEM! 

About author

Concert reviewer at Live in Limbo.