Blue-john Benjamin And Thomas Truax, Waiting Room Restaurant, Eaglescliffe – Sun Sept 19th


I had happened across Blue-John Benjamin occupying the airwaves of Bob Fischer’s show on BBC Tees with some distinction. A singer-songwriter with a canny turn of phrase, unusual subject matter and resident of Whitby. Well worth checking out at the Waiting Room restaurant, Eaglescliffe on a rainy Sunday evening in September. Particularly when Blue-John was supporting the mighty force that is Thomas Truax.

Long hair and engaging eyes Blue-John is fighting manfully against a cold threatening to strangle his voice. But he wins hands down and charms the audience with wit and verve. Subject matters span the genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, red telephone boxes and changeling’s from space. “Wake Up England,” is a glorious lyric, with a glimpse of God on a scooter between Liverpool and Manchester. London can wait. Too right. Blue-John’s brother made a house call from Japan and accompanies on backing vocals and even solos himself on one song.

An English long haired gentleman with a soothing vocal style that could mark Blue-John out as a 21st century Jake Thackery or Roy Harper. Quite excellent.

If there is a certain understated English eccentricity about the lyrics of Blue-John then Thomas Truax is weirdness abounds. The man in black is surrounded by all manners of pistons, gauges, bicycle wheels and brass horns, his madcap musical contraptions that form his touring band. Mother Superior might look like a crazed Heath Robinson invention but at the other end of those gyrating arms and spinning wheels it actually keep time and sets the beat. Everything actually works.

You see, Thomas Truax is not a gimmick merchant. He is a master craftsmen of songs as well as musical devices. He is just back from a Twin Peaks convention in Leeds and serenades us with the songs of David Lynch, a recent album release. His reverberating guitar and warbling voice are then deployed on songs from his latest long player release, Sonic Dreamer. It Always Rains on Sunday he laments and right on cue overhead the waters chuck it down on the glass roof of the Waiting Room’s music emporium. He is a Post Post Post Modern is Thomas and he has the Hornicator to prove it. The Hornicator being a large brass horn for strange amplification of voice and attached strings.

Thomas is showcasing his latest band member the scary aerial, a refugee from Digital Britain that bends notes and blends harmonica from its metallic frame. Yet it was his incredible psychedelic spinning glasses that really bowled me over, forming the buzzing accompaniment to new song Beehive Heart. Brilliant.

An eccentric evening then but a very special one.

Robert Nichols

By Rob Nichols on September 28, 2010

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  1. Brilliant Rob. Thank-you. We look forward to many more!!!

    Comment by Peter Martin — September 29, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

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