Scene and Heard – CCLXVIII : Gingers (or We Ain’t Got No Souls) – The Amber Bugs (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

28471677_1607802395973276_2472359156520433948_nAs a country we have a funny relationship with our redheads. It borders on racism, rubbish racism, but racism none the less. The sort of racism that is limited to someone shouting GINGERRRRRRR! across the street at the russet bonced unfortunate. Thankfully Ben Kelly can see the funny side to it all and to show it he leads his fellow Amber Bugs through a strange bluesy-soul odyssey, one that feels like a groovesome Tom Waits number, well, minus the gargled razor blade vocal and all the banging on about hookers and cheap motels.

But Waitsian it is more than anything else that I can think of, in its shifting dynamics, unexpected changes of pace, its strange meandering nature and mad Mariachi accompaniments and to be honest even the subject matter seems like something few others would chose to sing about. It is diverse and kaleidoscopic, and it deconstructs jazz, blues, soul, fuzz guitar and a few things which don’t have real names only to put them back together in new and confusing ways. It may at first seem like a piece of musical rough but a few listens in and you realise that it is a real diamond…or in this case perhaps a ruby.

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