"The Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Band" in the world recently played in Dublin. Least ways that’s what Supersuckers’ frontman Eddie Spaghetti modestly told us who we were in the presence of. You can’t fault their belief or energy though. The audience was a mixed bunch of punk and metal fans with a smidgeon of hard country fans too - judging by the t-shirts on display anyway. The band with it’s current line up of Spaghetti (who is the band leader as well as it’s only constant member) on acoustic guitar, Mountain Marty Chandler on guitar and vocals and drummer Captain Von Streicher were joined on bass and vocals (and merchandising sales) by Adam Kowalski.
The effects on Spaghetti’s vocals following his bout with oropharynx cancer (or constant touring or both) were obvious from the get-go. However he never let that effect his performance as these guys are bad asses who live the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. This was reflected in the lyrics of several songs, in requests for substances and in the general appearance of the band. They opened the set with some old favourites that also peppered the set including I Want The Drugs, Must’ve Been High, Roadwork and Weary and Non-Addictive Marijuana. The latter three were taken from their 1997 country album Must’ve Been High. There were some murmurs of disapproval when Spaghetti announced that they would be playing some country songs. However nobody seem to object to these same songs in reality when the performed them with their usual attitude and accoutrements.
Those who favour Eric Church and the like should have been here checking this band out. They have been playing hi-energy country rock with an outlaw inspiration when most of those guys were in kindergarten. The band also played several tracks from their latest album Holding The Bag which again revisits their hi-octane blend of rock and roots. These included Let’s Bounce, with the bassist and guitarist doing just that on the chorus. Jibber Jabber and Billy Joe Shaver’s Georgia On A Fast Train also got an airing - the latter with Chandler on lead vocals. It was also the baseball-hatted guitarist’s birthday. Guess what he wanted!
Each song ended with the “Cha Cha Cha” phase and Sapghetti’s crossed arms that are now a part , like the guitars raised in unison, of a Supersuckers' show. They managed also to ride the line between their rockin’ and hard country tendencies with Chandler’s Telecaster twangy and gritty by turns. They are a tight and entreating band who have continued to make good music despite the odds. Odds that seem to get more stacked as time goes on. However we all looked into the creepy jackalope eye and lived to tell the tale and they showed us why they claim the title. Cha-cha-cha champions.
Review by Stephen Rapid. Photograph by Kaethe Burt-O'Dea