Ruby Lounge. Manchester. 17/09/2009
By Simon Poole
Have you ever seen a one man band? Have you ever seen a one man band wearing a pair of Chelsea boots? Have you ever seen a one man band wearing a pair of Chelsea boots and an electric blue human cannon ball jump suit that is adorned with red jewels down the sides?
I would put a significant wager on most of you answering “No” after the second question. As if all of the above is not bizarre enough, how about adding to the equation, a jet fighter pilot’s helmet with an old-fashioned telephone handset glued to the front as a microphone. At this point only a very small fraction of the population would be able to answer “Yes” and those people have obviously had the pleasure of seeing Bob Log III.
Born in Chicago and raised in Arizona, he spent his early years listening to artists such as AC/DC, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry. At the age of just eleven Bob had picked up his first guitar and by the time most of us had left school he had progressed onto playing slide guitar.
Now we all know that someone with an individual instrument does not construct a one man band. So to create the rest of the ensemble, his left foot plays the cymbal, whilst the right plays a small kick-drum and both are operated by kick pedals.
Tonight is my first experience of seeing him live, so I make sure I am stood right up front. On the stage is a small stool and the two lone instruments as mentioned above. The set up is very simple, the two instruments are wired up to a small amp with a lone microphone placed in front of it that is connected to the P.A.
As we are all waiting, we here the guitar being played even though he and his said instrument are nowhere to be seen. Then from through the crowd and onto the stage our entertainer appears, only this time he is wearing a regular suit with his helmet.
When he finishes his guitar intro, the Deep South accented voice from under the helmet introduces himself and proceeds to slip off the suit quicker than a professional stripper to reveal one of his trade mark jump suits.
Now sat astride his stool, legs apart and feet firmly placed on each of the kick pedals we get down to some serious fast paced blues. We get started with Bump Pow! from his latest album. His vocals that emanate from his telephone microphone are virtually unrecognizable under the sound of his instruments, but this is of no concern to any of us onlookers.
Between songs we are treated to his tongue in cheek humor, in which he constantly refers to himself in the third person. Another of his comical character traits is the constant reminder that he should have numerous of beers, especially whiskeys, bought for him by the crowd throughout the show. Upon the offer tequila, he explains that it’s the only drink that makes him punch the law in the face, and then proceeds to drink the tequila.
To see him sit and perform live, you could be forgiven for thinking that each of his limbs are possessed by demons, as it would be impossible for any normal human being to be able to control them separately in such a manner and at such high speeds.
As par for the course at his gigs, he beckons for two ladies from the audience to each take a seat upon each of his knees and then powers into another of his songs and in the process, bouncing them around in such a manner that their eyeballs may not stop spinning for days to come.
By the end of his set, I am truly gob smacked at the showmanship, musical ability and genius I have witnessed here tonight. Will Bob Log III’s reign as blues man extraordinaire continue? I certainly hope so!