Almanac Music: Rock ‘n Roll Heaven’s House Band

 

Endless Boogie & Howlin’ Rain, The Recital Centre, Melbourne 20/4/22

 

We first cottoned onto Endless Boogie from one song on a little Indie film called Away We Go, which was on SBS about six years ago.

 

It was a film laden with excellent songs from George Harrison to The Stranglers to the Velvet Underground, but it was ‘Steak Rock’ from Endless Boogie’s first album Focus Level that had us Googling and subsequently Ebaying for their music.

 

Hailing from Brooklyn, NYC they have been described as having many influences such as blues rock, boogie, hard rock, psychedelia, swamp rock, stoner rock, you name it.

 

What come across for me is simply a raw, uncompromising, unadulterated love for music. They are almost meditative at times which you can’t say about too many conventional drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar arrangements.

 

They stay in their lane most of the time which consists of nothing more than two or three chords maximum from their rhythm guitarist Jesper Eklow which is soon joined by the main man Paul Major on lead guitar for what will become inevitably an improvised gem.

 

In last night’s performance, the band generously gave Californian support band Howlin’ Rain a full hour, which left Endless Boogie with approx. and hour and a quarter for their show.

 

In that time, including an encore, they completed four songs. At one stage both Jesper and the bass player Marc Razo were in such a transcendent state during a lengthy Paul Major lead break, that they suddenly were forced to call a band huddle to obtain some clarity on the time.

 

After a quick chat, and confirmation from the mixing desk that they were on track, they soon turned their attention back to the music and blasted off again.

 

One of my favourite bands of all time is Neil Young’s Crazy Horse and there are some definite similarities with Endless Boogie.

 

Firstly the superb bass and drums from Razo and drummer Harry Druzd drive the band and secondly the relationship between Eklow and Major isn’t dissimilar to the now retired Frank Sampedro and Neil Young in Crazy Horse.

 

The only difference between the way Young and Major play their respective Gibson Les Paul, is that Young tends to crunch the strings like an axe whereas Major is smooth and effortless whilst still producing a furious sound.

 

It’s difficult not to take your eyes off Paul Major on stage. He looks like he crawled from a crypt. Tall, skinny, round shouldered, a face carved from granite and waist long straight hair, he’s a captivating artist.

 

He’s also by all reports a humble and kind man who was once a professional record collector and is a walking encyclopaedia of music history.

 

Endless Boogie have been to Australia a few times primarily for the Boogie Festival in Victoria and a number of side shows. This one with Howlin’ Wind was in a venue that neither band was familiar with, a sit down formal theatre.

 

Both bands are much more comfortable in sweaty pubs but to tell you the truth, and I can’t speak for the other few hundred punters there, but my dodgy knee can’t deal with standing up for three hours anymore so I was grateful for this opportunity to see such a great band in relative comfort.

 

There were times during the show that my brain reached such joy through what I was hearing that I wondered if someone had slipped something into my water. They are more than music. It’s a spiritual experience.

 

It made think just how loved these guys would be in a Rock n Roll Heaven. Jimi, Janis, Lou, Lennon, Morrison and the crew in a band space on bean bags, drinks served and spliffs lit just taking in the house band Endless Boogie.

 

Given the heavenly immortality factor now granted to the band, they wouldn’t have to look at their watch anymore and just play their hearts out 24/7 or however time is defined up there.

 

The band have six full length albums, all brilliant and are on Bandcamp for on line listening.

There’s plenty of vision of the band on youtube but this is a gentle nine minute track ‘Counterfeiter’ off their latest album, Admonitions with a little help from Kurt Vile.

 

 

 

More from Ian Wilson can be read Here.

 

 

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About Ian Wilson

Former army aircraft mechanic, sales manager, VFA footballer and coach. Now mental health worker and blogger. Lifelong St Kilda FC tragic and father to 2 x girls.

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