Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – Games Room Weds 10th October 2018.
Yew-haw! Rolling, into the small town of Burley, Leeds on their great white steel horse of a tour bus; American rock n rollers Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts have brought along very special guests Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers on their 9 dates ‘Bottom’s Up UK tour’.
Ryan Hamilton is no stranger to the Brudenell club, as he has played here before with his band The Traitors, who happen to be the same band as the *Harlequin Ghosts but since signing a record deal to Wicked Cool Records and working with the legendary Stevie Van Zandt, the transatlantic band changed their name to become ‘’Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts’’ (*the Ghosts reside in the UK whilst Hamilton resides in Texas!)
Supporting Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts are Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers. As the band take to the stage, Roger tells us he originates from Tucson, Arizona and is used to the warm humid weather, although he might freeze outside in the English climate. But I think he’ll be fine in this room tonight as it feels like 80 degrees already. The music style is varied from opener Hello New Day that has a little reggae vibe going on. Introducing Marie as a Spanish post-mortem love song ‘’Incluso en la Muerte mi corazón solo te Espera (even in death my heart only waits for thee), we got some very impressive Spanish vocals from Roger.
On stage is a gift bag which contains the biggest hip flask you’ve ever seen. As Roger graciously thanked his fans for giving it to him, he proceeds to pass the flask out to the crowd before bursting into I know, you know, vocally it reminds me greatly of Tom Petty and the bass line has a hint of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman to it. And boy, did they jam the hell out of that song with such velocity! Keeping the pace fast and a little punkish, they finish with a song they wrote over 20 years ago. The crowd joins in shouting back ‘’yeah that seems fair’’ to ‘I got the pistols, so I’ll keep the Pesos’ on Banditos. Ending their set with a jamboree of the TV show theme tune King of the Hill they bring their show to a close with ‘mucho gracias’ going to the crowd from the band.
Headliner Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts are in good spirits and begin the night with a bit of crowd banter asking ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ A disappointing ‘Orange’, ‘as it’s the new black’ was the response – well it broke the ice!! Wearing black suits, with white shirts and black ties, the new look fuses the bands image and Ryan no longer looks like the lonely Texan, except for his buckaroo cowboy hat! (sorry, if I got the style wrong). The new image fits well with song lyrics as they play Records and Needles.
There’s a lot more banter through the night and love from the fans, who seem like one big happy family in the band’s presence. It’s like watching a magical bond being formed when Ryan & the HG’s come to town, playing crowd favourites like 4 letter word and Karaoke with no crowd from Ryan Hamilton’s album Hell of a Day. The beat-bop-a-rocking Smarter and We Never Should Have Moved to LA gets the crowd singing along with the infectious chorus of ‘it’s my way or the highway’ and the innuendo of the lyric ‘see you next Tuesday’ (c.u.n.t) brings an ironic smile to Ryan’s face.
As a band, all five members are quite diverse, flying their own freak flag! Tour guitarist Dave Winker is like the Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) of the band with his high kicks and playboy poses, it’s not quite the crowd for it, but he manages to get away with it. To the right side of the stage, sits the mysterious Carol Hodge who cues away on the keyboards. Whilst bassist Rob Lane, with his trademark hair ‘flicks’ (Wink wink), adds the swagger to ‘stick twirling’ Mickey Richard’s rhythmic drum beats. Like a well-oiled machine, the band coheres and Ryan’s Texan drawl binds the lot together. And it’s quite special to watch especially on the sing-a-long Be Kind Rewind.
Celebrating, the release of their latest single Bottoms up (here’s to goodbye). The new single has been released on 7’’ pink vinyl – cue the 7’’ pink innuendos but before the band says ‘adios baby’ Ryan gives ‘Thanks’ to everyone who has turned out to catch the band on the first date of the tour tonight. Before they play out with the B-side of the single, a cover of Straight Up by Paula Abdul.
If you want to catch more of Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts or see them for the first time, there are a few dates left on this tour,or you can catch them supporting The Alarm later this year in December. See the links below for info.
Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers
Roger Clyne – lead singer/songwriter & guitar
Hello New Day
Blue Collar Suicide
Maybe (we should fall in love)
I know, you know
Banditos/King of the hill
Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts
Touring Band Members
Ryan Hamilton – lead vocals and guitar
Rob Lane – bass
Mickey Richards – drums
Carol Hodge – keyboards
Dave Winkler – Guitar
4 Letter Verb
Moved to LA
Be Kind Rewind
Gulf of Mexico
Strength in numbers
Oh my God
More gig photos available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmtTKJ8J