There is a well-worn adage about old dogs and new tricks, but when the old tricks seem to be much more entertaining than anything the young dogs have to offer, it’s an adage that becomes redundant very quickly. And so it is with the AK-Poets, a three-piece of seasoned musicians who wear their musical inspirations for all to see. Theirs might be a straight down the line rock show, but not only does it neatly encapsulate everything that ever made the spirit of rock and rock such a volatile force, it does so without resorting to over done gimmicks or hipsterish cliché, fashion statements and complex hair styles.
If all that sounds unadventurous, believe me it isn’t. Main man David Marx has a wonderfully dexterous way with melodies whether he’s hammering home brutally straightforward rock outs such as Cold Blood or the more intricate swing beats of The Madness of Love. Add to this a raucous guitar style and one of the best rhythm sections around (Pat Luszcz and Richard Skidmore on bass and drums respectively) and you have a very potent musical weapon.
Their recent gig at The Beehive was a perfect lesson to younger bands of just how you put on a show, coming on to a boxing match introduction they ran through a set of songs that punched well above the adage “local” – though I guess everyone has to be local to somewhere. Riffs ricocheted off the wall, back beats pummelled their way into the floor and bass lines pulsated and prowled just below the surface, all delivered by a band, an particularly a front man, who knows what putting a show on is all about. As the line between band and punter constantly blurred this became a show that had more akin to Ladbroke Groove in 1977 than to the fickle fashions and self-aggrandisement of the modern age.
And with a set of songs any of which is strong enough in it’s own right to be a single, this is a band who can show the younger dogs a thing or two about their craft. Forget trying to explore exciting new territories, why not just be master of the territory that you are already familiar with? And believe me this was masterful stuff.
So, maybe a better adage is, if it ain’t broke ….just give it a bit of a polish and get back to work.