Live Review from Rustic #2
2. When She Comes
4. Only For Tonight
5. Convo Stalls
8. I Tried & I Failed
9. Save The Whales
Normally a three-piece, local Folkabilly band Tango & Snatch headlined the second Rustic night at Morrisons Café as a duo.
‘Haunted’ kicked off proceedings with singer Zaid Samman playing a simple shuffle chord progression and delivering his emotionally raw Americana vocal over the dampened snare of Joe Hastings’ country beat, adding an element of Mumford and Sons to the mix.
‘When She Comes’ channelled the rockabilly skiffle of Johnny Cash with a more accented beat in the choruses, as well as soaring harmonies by Hastings, before the repeated refrain “I keep on breathing for you” brings the song to a close.
‘Lullaby’ feels reminiscent of early Maccabees with Samman’s scratchy bar chords, whilst his emotionally wrought vocal has a similar impassioned plea to John Frusciante’s solo work. Hastings, meanwhile, employs the same country style roll.
‘Only For Tonight’ pushes the aggressive envelope a little further to give a bit of grit to the country feel, before Hastings and Samman are battling towards the end to see who can shout the loudest.
From this point on, the set becomes very rhythmically stagnant, with the same country beat driving at approximately the same tempo from Convo Stalls to closer Save The Whales. Samman’s strumming patterns also start to become predictable and tiresome too, with each song merging into one overall sound. Although Samman delivers every word with intensely raw emotion, and Hastings throws in plenty of “woahs” and tight harmonies for good measure, it becomes nearly impossible to differentiate the tracks from one another.
Despite their shortcomings, and being a member down, Tango & Snatch delivered a powerful and punchy enough set to end proceedings on another successful night of rustic music.
– Chris Gillett
Live Review from Girls with Guitars #6:
Last up was Tango & Snatch, a band that moved to HK, ALL THE WAY FROM Cambodia. Okay, so it’s not that far, but still. Featuring a bassist and a drummer who are also in other various bands around town that I think are excellent, and a guitarist/singer who comes highly recommended from Mr. Arthur Urquiola himself, this band’s got some pedigree. However, that often is deceptive, as I’ve personally seen happen. Tango & Snatch aren’t, however, in that “deceptive” category; in fact, quite the opposite. They’re simple, as a band – it’s rock ‘n’ roll, with a guy named Billy. Okay, no, but there’s that classic yokel quality to it, with the thumping rhythm, the boogie-woogie-like contours and the immensely tempting singalong feel of the songs. The guitars, live, are very garage-rock, like if King Buzzo (Melvins) and Steve Turner (Mudhoney) were mushed into one person that worshipped Link Wray. In particular, there’s The Haunted, whose… well, haunting yet catchy feel are worthy of the Super Super Blues Band album.
The twisty, grimy, bluesy yet sweet guitar with hints of surf rock is great to listen to, although they do vary the tones significantly in their recordings. The bass and drums are clean and lively, and do their job immaculately. There’s a little bit of overlap with the Tigerbombers’ sound (and it’s not purely because they share a band member), because they do stray into slightly Meteors-esqe (as on Dingo Ate My Baby) territory sometimes, but for the most part they’ve eked out a totally different niche from a band that they could’ve ended up sounding like a copy of, so kudos to them for that. All that said, perhaps their biggest strength is that they have songs that you can sing along to, and it almost seems to be the very purpose of songs like Naked & Afraid, and this is a rare quality for bands here, and it only adds to the fun of watching them live. No matter the number of bands one could name-check while describing them, what matters most is that they have a slightly chaotic feel about them that’s terribly exciting to watch, and very enjoyable to listen to and even more so if you’re the type to dance along to stuff. A terrific set to have played for their Underground debut (and I hope they will play with us again), and a perfect closer to what was a great show.
— Shashwati Kala