The Snowdroppers, La Mancha Negra @ The Annandale, Sydney (26//03/2010)

On Friday night, in the brooding darkness something stirred, a beast made of rockabilly flesh with dirty swampy blues blood. Entering the Annandale the beast awoke and snarled and the good ‘ol times began.

Supporting The Snowdroppers as part of the Prop 15 night was an assortment of bands across both rooms with an affinity for the blues fleshed out the night, including Adelaide’s one man-blues racket Kirk Special, the fur boa clad gangster moll Kira Puru & The Very Geordie Malones, and the brilliant La Mancha Negra serving up a helping of rockin’ rockabilly beats.

La Mancha Negra drew a sizeable audience and lead singer Akira screamed the blues into his 50s style mic adding an authentic tone and stage presence to the proceedings. The audience lapped it up in appreciation and as the set progressed they seemed to find their feet and put on a rockin’ show. Akira makes for a great frontman with just the right amount of raw intensity to transform a generic rockabilly blues band into something a bit more special. Kudos to the guy in the audience doing the chicken dance during the set.

Getting their blues stomp on, The Snowdroppers bought the good ‘ol times and pulled off an energy packed set with their dirty dustbowl rockabilly blues. If you haven’t witnessed The Snowdroppers before they are the total package. Such is their authenticity and attention to detail, they could have been lifted straight out of the 20s Depression-era mid-west America.

Despite the good looks and sexual magnetism of lead singer and banjo player Johnny Wishbone and guitarist Cougar, the band are more than appearances. They’re great musicians with a great stage presence. The band rocked the crowd with the ass moving rock ‘n’ roll of Do The Stomp, and at a bare minimum there was infectious foot tapping from everyone throughout.

A thought occurred to me of watching lead singer Wishbone in action, he’s vaguely reminiscent of Howlin’ Pele Almqvist, lead singer of The Hives in looks and attitude. No bad thing as there’s a dire shortage of good frontmen in bands nowadays.

The band powered through their set performing great scuzzy blues numbers like Good Drugs, Bad Women and they have an impressive arsenal of corkers in their repertoire now. If you get a chance to see them, it’ll be the one of the best gigs you’ve been to in a long time.