Review: Who was that masked man?

7 Apr 2013 @ 3.13 pm
| Entertainment
Like something out of Doctor Who… Bob Log III. Photographs and Bob Log III video by Steve Cowell
Review: Scott H Biram and Bob Log III
Venue: Fibbers, April 5



One man bands could be compared to buses… you wait ages for one, and then two come along at the same time. This was the case on Friday night at Fibbers.

Scott H Biram from Texas is an award-winning musician whose act merges blues, country, psychobilly and metal into a powerful set of songs. He is the self-proclaimed “Dirty Old One Man Band” who cusses and spits out songs about women and booze to the driving beat of his overdriven set of guitars while he pounds his left foot on a drum pad.

Biram does change the pace and mood throughout his set, with more delicate songs like Open Road and Just Another River – about the river at San Marcos in Texas where he grew up – contrasting with powerhouses like Victory Song.

The quality of his songwriting skills shine through the dirt, and the crowd enjoyed all he had to give. He gave a nod to the night’s headline act, describing Bob Log as a “real one man band – unlike me – I’m just a guy surrounded by too many amplifiers!” – before signing of with “Goodnight you m***********, don’t forget to kiss your mamas!”

“Dirty Old One Man Band”: Scott H Biram
“Dirty Old One Man Band”: Scott H Biram
A skilful songwriter, his set changed in pace and mood
A skilful songwriter, his set changed in pace and mood

The stage was reset. The house lights went down, and the stage flooded with smoke. As the stage lighting started to flash, we heard Bob Log III fire up his guitar with a biting blues riff.

A tall figure emerged from the smoke. Clad in a black human cannonball suit adorned with mirror squares on the seams, the headliner looked more like a creation you may have expected to meet on Dr Who in the Pertwee years than a blues guitarist. I say this, not because of the jump suit, but because of the fact hat his head and face were fully masked with a motorcycle helmet, accessorised with an old analogue telephone handset.

Bob Log III: Driving riffs and a pounding beat
Bob Log III: Driving riffs and a pounding beat
Pointing the way back 100 years
Pointing the way back 100 years

He stepped forward and sat down and continued to play the driving riff as his right foot found his kick drum pedal and his left had an option of cymbal and drum pad pedals. The pounding beat was infectious and his head rock back and for as he played – the movements amplified by his headwear.

The set was a combination of frenetic blues riffs and licks accompanied by his vocals distorted by the choice of microphone (the telephone).

At one stage he asked us to imagine we were being taken back one hundred years. And that he was no longer the masked man we could see, but a delta bluesman smoking a pipe and playing a banjo. The song that followed saw him picking his guitar as if it were a banjo, and his homage channelled the Mississippi blues into the smoke-filled room in York.

Now, firmly back on Planet Bob, Mr Log introduced a song called Bump Pop! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Which he explained was about absolutely nothing – who cares? Its infectious beat and repetitive lyrics got the crowd moving. He proclaimed that he came here to make the people wiggle, and that is exactly what he did.

A brilliant guitarist and real showman, who treated us to something truly extraordinary.