gunfire dance - The I-94 Bar

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Darren Birch

darren birch 2020DARREN BIRCH
Bass player for Black Bombers and former member of Gunfire Dance, Brian James Gang, Walter Lure and The Godfathers
Birmingham, UK

It's been a funny old year! I managed to play one gig before the world shut down and didn't get to see any. From the beginning of March, I couldn't leave the house for 15 weeks so books and music became my friends....

My Top 10 for 2020:

1.) “Sing Backwards and Weep” by Mark Lanegan. His autobiography.

2.) “The War is Never Over” by Nick Soulsby. A book and companion piece to the Lydia Lunch documentary of the same name.

3.) “Just A Shot Away. 1969 Revisisted” Volumes 1 and 2 books by Kris Needs.

4.) “Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a UK Sub and Other Strange Stoies” (book) by Alvin Gibbs

Broken Window Theory: Getting between the cracks with Jeff Ward of New York City's ElectraJets

electrajets portait

"There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in..." (Cohen)

One of the most exuberant and enlivening, new, modern bands I've discovered in what seems like forever, ElectraJets, is led by an Englishman named Jeff Ward and a Canadian named Cynthia Ross.  You might be hip to those names from the B-Girls, Gunfire Dance or New York Junk, but the forthcoming full-length album, "Transatlantic Tales", is by their Gotham band, ElectraJets.

It's a rocket through time and space, pulsating with an irresistible beat and likely to appeal to fans of Detroit protest music, Julian Cope's Black Sheep and "Cut The Crap" busking. There's something here for fans of Pretty Things or Blue Cheer, so beautiful it hurts Love & Rockets-style nocturnal pop, '60s prog, '70s glitter, Marc Bolan, Bowie and the Stones.

I told an old pal how awed I am by the ElectraJets' extremely formidable rhythm section, who have a total mastery of that boot boy stompin' 70s' Slade/Leader Of The Gang/Bo Didddley beat, that makes you wanna get out of  your sad old man chair and dance in front of the mirror. It's down the rabbit hole rock 'n' roll, with many varying moods, genres, textures and layers - from delicate memories to volcanic eruptions, bruised romanticism and rooftop hymns. It's far-flung and forward thinking, neon hued and cinematic, and it will make you involuntarily want to move your body.

I-94 Bar