Kurt Baker Combo:
A teaspoon of Elvis Costello, a half pint of Paul McCartney, a gallon of Joey Ramone and just a dash of Rick Nielsen…put it in your nose, mouth or oven on a Saturday night. By 2AM you’ll have something resembling the likes of Kurt Baker Combo. Repeat often.
The Kurt Baker Combo played a blistering set of power pop rock’n’roll at their Brighton debut at The Prince Albert. They claim to be influenced by Influenced by early Costello, Nick Lowe, The Monkees, The Beatles, The Rubinoos. The Combo have a new album ‘In Orbit‘ on Steve Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.
Support from FAT COUNTRY TED: Country punk pub rock.
Plus THEE SHERBERT PEARDROP EXPLOSION: Sonic 60’s garage bubblegum punk.
Ok then so you want some punk fuelled power pop? Well the Kurt Baker Combo is power pop and punk fueled! Check them out on You Tube and you will see Kurt has released some truly awesome material, with what appears to be many line ups! Kurt just has “it” even a cover of Blondies “Hanging On The Telephone” has his stamp all over it – ripping guitars, great vocals and his lively sense of humour reflected in the video.
Chris Bongers – Drums
Jorge Colldan – Lead Guitar
Juancho López – Bass
Kurt Baker – Guitars and vocals
The guys, on their first visit to Brighton, had drawn quite a crowd, and what we got was a full hour of fast paced rock and roll thrown at us…
Kurt on the guitar and vocals is a great front man, he has mastered his craft from his various music ventures. Boy can he play that guitar – and no plectrum! He made that guitar howl at us, and with Jorge on the other guitar, the two of them created a world full of buzzing guitars, scrapes and solos. Brilliant to watch and cool to listen to it all unfurl. Juancho held the band together nicely with some seriously good bass guitar and joining forces with the man at the back Chris on drums, together they forged a solid rocking sound. One song in and I realised I was listening to something special. These guys are good, no actually these guys are great! Wow! Rock n Roll at its finest.
Not sure how many times Kurt said he was glad to be in Brighton on a Sunday night – but it was a few! Some great banter within the band kept the set bopping along. The band gave us some of the older material, and some great covers thrown into the mix – including Love Potion #9. Kurt gyrating through this song – looking as though he had had a swig of said potion. The guys gave this song a serious reboot and made it sound fresh and exciting. We also had a good handful of blistering tracks from their latest album.
It was no surprise that by the time we were half way through the set the crowd were reveling in the music. I am pretty sure there were many influences in there some fine drum beats almost in a Glitter Band style, the vocals a touch of Elvis Costello maybe?, some of the guitar had a heady mix of Ramones, The Cars and perhaps some Joan Jett. I was also kinda reminded of Johnny Thunders material. Yep, some of this has been done before – BUT not like this.
I love the single they played – cant get enough cowbells in a rock and roll song is a conversation I had with Dennis Dunnaway a few years ago and one of the tracks we were trying to recall was a Ramones song “Time has Come Today” and also came up with “Suzy Is A Headbanger”. But thankfully Kurt and his Combo hit us with “Baby’s Gone Bad” – yep – satisfied with that.
What I loved about these guys was the sonic consistency we were given throughout the set. No slowies – no fillers – but 60 minutes of powered up rock n roll!
Darrell Bath, Kurt Baker Combo = Johnny Thunders song!
I mentioned earlier Johnny Thunders, well about half way through the set Darrell Bath (Vibrators, The Dogs D’Amour, U.K. Subs, and more) joined the band. He took over Kurts guitar duties for two songs and included the classic Thunders song “Pirate Love”. They played it as if their very lives depended on it, whilst maintaining and giving a level of respect to such a great song.
Darrell absolutely tore into his guitar duties with his usual style and grace, his hat set at an angle, his eyes twinkling under the brim, and a large smile on his face – he was enjoying this. I know the assembled crowd were! The band also seemed to be having a riot, as Kurt jumped around the stage and dropped the mic, it bounced off into the crowd and it took Kurt a couple of minutes to retrieve it!
More songs, and another shout out for Brighton on a Sunday and that was it – game over! The audience wanted more, but curfew times have to be adhered to. I think the band would have done a couple more songs.
This was a great gig, Kurt Baker Combo are a force to be reckoned with. They should be on the bigger stages and if they continue to deliver like that – hopefully it wont be long! A great performance in which they kept a sense of “live” urgency to the set, stopping only for a swig of beer or a shot of something and a quick re-tune. The songs and the band are exciting and upbeat. Want my advice? Just go see them!
Please note all images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2017.