The Doors Alive
27/04/2012 @ the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes / Kill Your Idols
Now I know what you’re thinking; “A review of a tribute band on a blog about new music? I’m off”, but hear me out on this. I have no time for bands offering sub-karaoke versions of acts that are still touring (aMUSEd, I am looking at you) but this is something very different. What the Doors Alive offer is the closest thing you will get to experiencing the real sound of the Doors in the 21st century. In fact, at times during their set, I revelled in closing my eyes and just letting the sound wash over me. Willie Scott has perfected every drawled note, every soul-bearing scream and every nonchalant hip sway to make you question whether Jim Morrison visited Scott’s native Scotland once and sired a secret love child. Christian Cornejo fingers worked twin organs like greased lightening – every bit as dextrous and fluid as Manzarek ever was. On guitar, Baz Meyer has every flick, screech and chugging riff down to such natural perfection that you could believe he wrote the songs himself. And keeping everything from falling in to chaos is Buzz Allan squeezing every possible tone and rhythm out of simple but beautiful vintage kit.
Tonight, the audience at the Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes are treated to all the favourites performed with tightness and sexiness rivalled only by the singer’s leather trousers. Scott’s banter with the audience is delivered on the fine line between arrogance and rock’n’roll swagger and the audience lap up every last drop. Admirably, Scott leaves the stage mid song at one point to let the rest of the band show their skills and they rise to the challenge with solos that teeter on the edge of Jazz noodling without ever loosening their grip on the attention of the crowd. The cherry on the icing on the cake comes when two American ‘cops’ storm the stage to arrest Morrison in a re-enactment of the now infamous New Haven incident of 1967.
So my point is this: I was aware of the Doors but only experiencing their music in recorded form had never really inspired me. Now that I have heard them performed live to an adoring audience and small and sweaty venue I think I get it. This is what a good tribute band can do for your musical knowledge and so they are not an entirely redundant idea. And let’s face it, it’s got to be better than watching a hologram of Tupac and paying the price of a car for the privilege!