LS CRUDE: Live at the Hotel Sidney

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Tim Pieschel, vocals | Lawrence Russell, guitar | Duncan McLachlan, guitar | Garry McKevitt, bass | Darryl Marquette, drums

Jan 27, 1995. The Sidney Hotel, southern tip of Vancouver Island, a damp night down by the sea near the wharf, the patrons drinking, shooting pool, lurching back and forth to the blue machine for scratch tickets in the smoky amber light, yelping obscenities, arguing and laughing, kicking them back, the usual.

The pub is especially full and rowdy this Friday night. A festive, though somewhat dangerous vibe, as the word is out that the hotel is going to be pulled down within the month, maybe next week even, and where are the regulars going to go, hang out, get loaded? It's a tragedy, like the night before the Germans arrive in Paris, so get the action while you can.

Nothing like the "Hotel Sidney" as they fondly call it, and the Tiller Room pub with its stone fireplaces and wall decor... a plough blade, a cross-cut saw, a fish club... stuff no one notices anymore, although they all know the big maple bar counter, sleek and laminated, with a curved gutter for your elbows, or to catch your change.

The building shakes as a jet roars over, low and heavy, taking off from the local airport. Last plane out? Nobody hears, nobody cares -- LS Crude are rockin' the room!

Live at the Hotel Sidney: LS Crude

mp3 tracks:

1. Heartbreaker [6:57]

2. Prisoner [7.41]

3. Terminal [7:36]

4. Ain't Too Proud To Beg [3:56]

5. My Father Was A Jockey [8:53]

LS Crude (Light Sweet) has played this venue before, is set up as usual in the south corner beside the dart boards, a small hardwood dance floor between the band and the nearest tables. Monitors sit on two steel 40 gallon oil barrels (light sweet crude). Two condenser mics hang from the ceiling, four feet apart, record the gig "out of the air", so the action is captured raw, almost binaural, with the crowd sound always in counterpoint to the driving music of this classic rock combo, two guitars, bass, drums and a shotgun vocalist.

You'll notice how the crowd is part of the "orchestration" in the first track, "Heartbreaker" (a Stones cover), the guitars drifting into the signature as part of the conversation, like the whisper of the night tide. The jazzy "Prisoner" and country-rock "Terminal" (LR originals) have the same interactive crowd patina, so you really get a feel for the location, and the unlocked atmosphere.

The fever rises with "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" (Temptations cover) to pure anarchy with "My Father Was A Jockey" (modified John Lee Hooker boogie) when a rowdy man takes over the mic, exhorts the patrons to "Let's take out the windows! Let's rip this fuckin' joint, they're gonna tear it down anyway!"

Tim, Crude's vocalist, purrs, "Does this mean one more?"

LS Crude is:

Tim Pieschel, vocals
Lawrence Russell, guitar (Gibson Nighthawk)
Duncan McLachlan, guitar (Strat Deluxe)
Garry McKevitt, bass (Larrive fretless)
Darryl Marquette, drums (basic kit)

LS Crude: Live at the Hotel Sidney was recorded by LR on VHS tape, remastered to digital.

[for the gearheads: Duncan played through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp, LR through a 50 watt Marshall combo twined with a 40 watt Crate Chorus, Garry through a Gallien-Krueger or maybe a Roland 100 bloc... check Garry out at the Victoria Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ( as the bassist for The Noblemen]

Chick with the Poisoned Eyes flashes the band, pulls up her sweater, gives the boys a snapshot of her magnificents. Yep, they're all here, wired and ready to rock. Clifford the Clown, wearing his harlequin suit, perched on a stool at the bar, sipping a fat glass of red wine, playing games with his fingers, talking to himself. Ricky, the Mexican migrant, moving through the tables trying sell some stone idols, the real deal, looted from a ruin somewhere in the Sierra Madre... Natasha, the Russian poetess, sitting on a stool by one of the pillars, smoking, scribbling on the back of a coaster, perhaps sketching out her inevitable suicide... Jesse the regular, lives upstairs, hunkered down for the night, every night, table loaded, keep 'em coming, funded by an absent husband, safely out of sight on an off-shore oil well in the south seas, "anywhere they drill"... the nameless carpenter, coked-out, barred earlier, oils his way back in... fishermen, roofers, students, welfare idlers, stressed civil servants, counter-culture ghosts, people betwixt and between... Mike the barman in his muscle shirt, stroking his moustache, smiling faintly as a guy with a fat belly bursting through his Cochise T-shirt tries to cash a cheque [sign above the bar says "Banks don't sell beer, we don't cash checks"].

Yep. Rock n roll humanity... a painting left behind in the rubble after the demolition.

LS Crude poster

Studio Crude 1997

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