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LES GRYS-GRYS have been described in a review in Shindig! magazine as ‘a revelation’. A live performance in London in May 2015 was, they wrote, ‘a reminder of how I felt as a teenager: the excitement of seeing an amazing live band when it was still a new experience for me. It made me remember why I fell in love with rock’n’roll in the first place.’
From Montpelier in the south of France, Les Grys-Grys appear to be part of a wave of youngsters taking on the sounds that were first heard in the decades before even their parents were born and either updating it or simply making it their own.
‘With the vocalist sporting a headcoat (or “deerstalker” to the uninitiated), fans of 1960s beat music be right in thinking there’s a bit of the Downliners Sect going on here. But the crunching r&b [rhythm & blues] blasting at us, the audience, made me think we were experiencing what it might have been like to be stage front at Belfast’s Maritime Club back in 1965,’ the write-up continued. And if you’ve heard the Big Beat issued CD, Belfast Beat: Maritime Blues, that is a great compliment indeed. While their setlist has until now been comprised of covers (Chuck Berry being a huge influence, as it was for many original sixties groups), the two self-composed tracks on the forthcoming single on Dirty Water Records is pretty damn near as good as anything else in their repertoire and makes us wonder what new originals are still to come.
After their appearance at Le Beat Bespoke, a retrotinged music festival in London, last Easter, a reviewer wrote: ‘With short sharp bursts of frenzied drumming, plonking bass and off-the-cuff maraca-shaking from their resident blues harp wielding loon, these French upstarts set out their stall immediately, purveying classic white r&b in the style of the Yardbirds, Pretty Things and Rolling Stones . . . The question remains as to what will happen when they start writing their own material. But it will happen. And the development will be, just as it was with those lads from Dartford 50 years ago, fascinating to observe. And even if they never put pen to paper, they’ll still be unmissable live.’ Unmissable live, definitely. And now that they have put pen to paper, unmissable in every way.
A - Left Unseen
B - It's Mighty Crazy
The Dirty Water Club started in October 1996 in the Tufnell Park neighbourhood of north London, at a venue called The Boston. The club's name is derived from The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Past performers have included The White Stripes (voted by Q Magazine as one of the top 10 gigs of all time, Mojo one of the top 30 and Kerrang one of the top 100!), The Gories, NOBUNNY, Kid Congo Powers (from the Cramps), The Fleshtones, Billy Childish, Radio Birdman, The Dirtbombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The 126.96.36.199's, The Horrors and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name just a few. The club has also seen some original '60s performers, such as The Monks, ? and the Mysterians, Kim Fowley, Sky Saxon, GONN, Michael Davis of the MC5 and more grace its stage.
Their in-house record label, Dirty Water Records, is one of the leading garage/beat/(real) R&B labels in the world.