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Dik Guru Urban Folk Alive

Dik Guru live at the Chaos Acoustic Club, Moseley

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by Lee Paul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2016
Dik Guru - like a more vulgar (saying something), Ian Dury, without the Blockheads
by Lee Paul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2016
Dik Guru - like a more vulgar (saying something), Ian Dury, without the Blockheads

Dik Guru
Old Moseley Arms
Birmingham, UK

Getting this week's Chaos Acoustic Club underway were trio TJK (I think) who laconically managed to meld a miserable night in Moseley with gorgeous 70s West Coast Wrecking Crew pop. In the moment, it's audaciously indecent. The mellow meandering guitars calling to the ghost of Gram Parsons.

The Faux Pas are seated and set off with 'Pan American' a long sluggish lonely slinking bluesy road trip that is actually so American Gothic it's okay to be awed and scared at once. I don't know whether the room heated up or the muggy humidity of the South just swept in with them. There is a great overwrought menace to their performance, even while seated. They were only able to squeeze in four songs so immense was their density. They do their version of Townes Van Zandt's Colorado Girl. If this is folk it's from the heavy metal end of the periodic table. In any other venue, somebody might've got murdered to ease the tension. Great. There's old film not telling it is now, here. And to show they still inhabit part of the same planet as the rest of us at times, here's singer Marcus, with his ho hum David Bowie anecdote (at around 5.40) here

Dik Guru, resplendent in a Mr Rude T-shirt re-energizes the room with his brand of Urban Folk, as he calls it. Let's see, let's get you straight to the point, it's like a more vulgar (saying something), Ian Dury, without the Blockheads, but often funnier. And it's cool and it's sweet and it's a perfect accompaniment to beer. His songs are sliced from the working class lives rarely (if ever) represented in any media. Yet there are millions of us, so you might ask why you never see us? He makes the Eastenders depiction of working class lives seem like some sort of college dorm curated fantasy of what the townies might be doing when watched from a safe distance. Through very thick tinted glass. These are tales of lovable and less than lovable losers. Catchy tunes and keen wit and as many options for where and how prospective employers might like to stick their useless jobs as there can be. I really can't remember the last time I saw a crowd enjoy themselves so much. True Stories all. Although some via the pages of Viz. I laughed along and aloud and loved it.

The evening ended with Crooked House - a Wolverhampton based duo, playing perhaps among the evenings most beautiful guitars and bringing too the sweetest harmonies. There's an autumnal sense to their performance, there's a winter ahead and it will despite our best intentions do with us what it will. Homeward Bound is played by popular demand. I always found that to be a particularly joyless journey. So I stumbled into the street awestruck by the great music all gathered in one place and time. And moved along.

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Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.

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