Bob Log III brings his surreal brand of blues to Newport.
Le Pub is one of our favourite pubs. It’s bloody ace. But you don’t need to take our word for it, the venue is well spoken of by anyone that knows it. I’ve heard many refer to it as the best music pub in the UK outside the M25. Tonight we see the return of Bob Log III, all the way from the US of A, proving Le Pub’s reputation stretches way beyond these shores.
I get myself up close to the stage to grab some photos before it gets too busy. As we are patiently waiting, music that sounds remarkably like Bob Log starts coming out of the PA. I’m confused momentarily, cos he ain’t on stage. I look to see if he is hiding behind the PA. Then I look around and see that he is wandering through the crowd playing a wireless guitar.
He climbs on stage. He is kitted out in an all-in-one catsuit and a motorcycle helmet. Grafted into the visor of his helmet is an old fashioned telephone handset that is wired up as a microphone. He looks like a psychedelic Stig from Top Gear.
Wikipedia tells me Log has been doing this shit for three decades now, but given his approach to anonymity, there could be someone else doing a show every night.
He (they?) is a one man band, knocking out a stirring brand of Delta blues with a dirty punky edge. The main focus is his classic Silvertone arch top slide guitar, but he also plays a kick drum and a home made kick symbol thing.
A healthy sized crowd has gathered, for a wet Thursday night, and many are not seeing this guy for the first time. He appears to have a cult following.
If you close your eyes you are transported to a twenty-first century punk gig in a rusty old shed built in swamp down in the deep south. Moonshine, alligators and dungarees spring to mind. But open your eyes and things get a weird to the point of almost psychedelic. There is an inflatable dinghy on stage, along with an inflatable duck – but the crowd take them for granted, having a good idea of what is to come.
One thing we were not expecting was for him to give audience members balloons to blow up and throw on stage. I’m not sure what happened next, because one of our gang suffers from Globophobia, (the fear of balloons). We had to head out to the bar till this particular segment was over, so I’m not sure what happened next.
When it was safe(ish) to return, we find he has filled up the huge inflatable duck with Prosecco and is passing it around for people to drink out of it – and people join in as if this was an everyday occurrence.
We stay at the back to avoid any potential balloons that had not yet been sacrificed to the gods of rock’n’roll. The banter between songs is rather amusing, but in fairness, this is not just a cabaret act, he is quite the guitar player and gets the feet tapping.
Then shit gets weird and he asks members of the audience to grab a piece of toast and sit on his knee to take a selfie, while he continues to play. That in itself seemed like an odd request, but what blew my mind was that people actually managed to find freshly toasted bread to join in the fun.
Eventually, the show ended as it began, with Mr Log, wandering off through the crowd to his dressing room, still strumming his guitar and still looking mysterious. Long may he continue.