Hayseed Dixie Live @ Sub 89

Hayseed Dixie Live @ Sub 89

****

4/5

Recently Way Out Radio head down to Sub 89 in Reading to catch the original RockGrass group, Hayseed Dixie in full banjo swinging action. Doors opened at  7:30 pm and tickets cost £15 a head. We arrived at 8.30ish and saw a bunch of fans hanging around outside but found it easy to get in with no queue. Beside us a small man in blue dungarees and long scraggly brown hair and beard was stopped by security and asked for his ticket when he proclaimed ‘I’m in the band!’ and shot off upstairs. It was the banjo player! From there we made our way upstairs to the intimate Sub 89 concert room with stage to the right, bar to the left, merch on the far side and sofas at the back. I love this venue and have seen some amazing gigs here including indie band Peace and drug dealer turned comedian Howard Marks ‘Scholars, Prisoners and Scribes’. I’ve also been told that the recent Public Image Limited tour stopped here and the band, fronted by ex-Sex Pistol Johnny Lydon, was beyond superb.

With no support band, on came Hayseed Dixie, four tall, bearded and scruffy guys in boots stood at the front of the stage in a line, playing bass, guitar, violin and mandolin. Throughout the set they switched instruments over to different guitars and banjos which was brilliant and sounded so unique. The lead singer wore his tie-dye t-shirt and told stories about touring, his family and made jokes about the state of England’s political disarray. They played a load of great covers including Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. At first I was sceptical that they could get the crowd going as they had no drummer, but the singer was so funny and the band were so good that soon people were dancing together which was great to see.

I really enjoyed this gig, it was unique, cheerful and the level of musicianship pushed boundaries I rarely see at rock concerts. I would definitely recommend you grabbing a couple of tickets to a Hayseed Dixie gig.

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