Live Review – Dirty Shirley @ The Star Inn

Joe Donegan Drumming Live B+W

What a fantastic show, my first thoughts on a night of booze soaked rock and roll, a full venue, an audience with high expectations.

My introverted brain can only usually produce two continuous thoughts when I’m stood in a crowd waiting for a gig…

“Where is the door in case I need to make a break for it?”

“How much is a double jack and coke gonna set me back?”

But through it all nevertheless, on the night of October 28th I was in my element, in a packed out crowd surrounded by people I’d never met before, uni mates and some familiar friendly (ish) faces waiting to reacquaint myself with Dirty Shirley. To be precise, they are a rock and roll band comprised of four great musicians, two of which I happened to live with and two other friends of mine rounding out on guitar and bass. Mates rates on the door for everybody, naturally as you do with local shows. The atmosphere was electric, and song one certainly capitalised on the build up. It was a clear stand out.

Ms. Wallace is a thoughtful ode to an old teacher of lead guitarist Jacob Wood, and it certainly lives up to everyones expectations. Imagine the twisted love child of Guns N Roses and The Who, with splashes of The Eagles with regard to melodic understanding and song-catchiness. I was in awe of it. Joe Donegan on drums somehow channeling the same insanity on the kit as Keith Moon and the ridiculously talented Will Vickery (guitar) borderline abusing his fretboard with riffs ripped straight from an Appetite For Destruction fever dream.

In fact if I had to sum up this bands image it would be as if Dr Frankenstein formed a super group. There was an almost feverish energy to each tune they smashed out, including a rip roaring cover of The Beatles’ Come Together, with their incredible bassist Adam Miller stealing the show.

The crowd reacted as expected, in the forms of moshing, head banging, clapping and singing along to some familiar songs. The love that everybody shared as a result of the bands uplifting and stellar performance was heartwarming and a good reminder to us all of how this industry is one big family. Many hangovers and tired people around the streets of Guildford the following morning and the lyrics to the bands stellar catalogue of originals were ringing in my head far louder than the ringing in my ears.

What a performance from every single one of them! Rock and Roll isn’t dead, and Dirty Shirley continue to prove to me why.

More shows like this and they’ll certainly achieve big things in their career. Stick to the Rock and Roll and the crowds will keep on coming.

Review by William Rodger