Television performances by bands are routinely uneventful, but this? This is utterly compelling. First there’s the way they look, or should I say the way frontman Samuel T. Herring looks: built like Henry Rollins but with a face that searches the audience, pleading for some kind of empathy or understanding of his plight. Then there’s the dancing: a hip-swivelling affair that could have come straight from Wigan Casino. The two things seem unlikely bedfellows and that’s before Herring begins singing, his voice often soulful and powerful, yet with the tendency to erupt into a throaty howl reminiscent of death metal.
The eye contact. The sincere chest thumping. The limbo dancing right at the end, which comes straight after that stomach-churning, guttural roar.The whole thing is strangely unsettling, incredibly moving and brave enough to risk teetering to the very brink of out-and-out hilarity without quite falling off the edge. In doing so it left me reeling and wondering why other singers don’t put this much effort into carving out a stage persona that’s truly their own.
An extraordinary video of an incredible concert, especially given the context. Highly recommended.