Metal Blade Records On May 17, As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis appeared in…
- Posted on Jan 10th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Rourke certainly still plays like he did 25 years ago, and as he laid down the nimble, melodic bass line that underpins 'Big Mouth Strikes Again,' he helped Sons & Heirs reach an eerie new level of authenticity.
In guesting with the faux Smiths, Rourke essentially served as his own opening act. When the live music was finished, the bassist headed for the back of the club and switched into DJ mode, spinning records by T. Rex, the Specials, Joy Division, and yes, the Smiths.
Credit also goes to the main act for turning a fan night into a truly memorable event. Sons & Heirs are four guys whose abilities propel them over the "uncanny divide," the term scientists use when discussing particularly lifelike humanoid robots. The lead singer, Ronnissey, proved especially convincing, flouncing across the stage in a free-flowing polka-dot shirt, a bouquet of gladiolas stuffed in his back pocket. His pompadour wasn't quite as tall as Morrissey's mid-'80s quiff, but it was about on par with what the iconic singer wears atop his noggin these days.
Equally good was guitarist Avi Marr, who nailed the intro to 'This Charming Man' and vaguely African-sounding run of notes that comes toward the end of 'I Want the One I Can't Have.' His attention to detail was such that, during 'Ask,' yet another feat of guitar heroics, he switched from a Gibson to a Rickenbacker, the brand of instrument that has long helped Johnny Marr achieve his signature jangle.
The group also did a few of Morrissey's solo tunes, which had to have given Rourke pause. In the years since the Smiths breakup, the bassist and singer have clashed over royalty rates, reducing to zero the chances of a full-fledged Smiths reunion.
While no substitute for the real thing, the Sons & Heirs provide what amounts to a valuable public service -- both for fans and former members of the Smiths.