Live Review: Bob Log III, St Mary's Creative Space Chester 26/03/23

We live in a state of perpetual confusion.  The world can be a very complex place to dechipher in the post-Truth age; even things that aren't what they seem can't be trusted to be that predictable. I'm confused and so should you be. The conventions that have been built over years of robust economic models are eroding before our very eyes and evidence is not difficult to seek out. Student-led riots in France are causing panic on the streets of Strasbourg, Nice and Paris whilst a former footballer turned crisp salesman, can cause concern to the established order in the UK with one Tweet. 

In our little subculture of Rock n' Roll, the established order is starting to feel the strain too. Touring has become an expensive business - for both artist and punter. Some of the big boys are doing their best to help stop the bubble from bursting, with The Cure's Robert Smith the latest to take Ticketmaster to task over it's controversial dynamic pricing model and eye-watering booking fees. I'm not sure about you, but if a tour is only on Ticketmaster now, I tend to swerve it like I'm avoiding a deer on the motorway. I don't even drive. 

The ever-lengthening odds that these challenges pose are forcing artists to think outside the box. The epitomy of that is tonight's star of the show at St Mary's Creative Space in Chester. Bob Log III should not be able to survive as a touring musician in this day and age, but here he is in all his deeply-weird glory. I'm not going to be able to top Tom Waits when it comes to describing Bob Log III, so I'll just quote him:

Then there's this guy called Bob Log, you ever heard of him? He's this little kid - nobody knows how old he is - wears a motorcycle helmet and he has a microphone inside of it and he puts the glass over the front so you can't see his face, and plays slide guitar. It's just the loudest, strangest stuff you've ever heard. You don't understand one word he's saying. I like people who glue macaroni on to a piece of cardboard and paint it gold - that's what I aspire to basically.
It's clear when he arrives on stage that Bob Log lll is no longer the little kid that Tom Waits saw all those years ago, but that essence of the childish exuberance is still there. What Waits doesn't describe is this isn't just a gig, it's a full performance. The musicality leaps out at you like a ghost in a horror movie. The slide guitar playing is on a technically intricate level that many musicians struggle to master. Not only is this done with a helmet on, but he also manages to play his own percussion with drum pedals around his feet. The one-man band is a dying art, but in Bob Log lll's world it's - quite literally - alive and kicking. 

Mesmerising to watch at times, it's important to realise that this is all done to create a massive Blues Punk Techno party. The sound soars throughout the venue, a former church with all the requisite acoustics. The crowd lap it up - because frankly - you can't help but want to dance to this brilliantly bizarre spectacle. Ending each song with his hand raised in the air and a Tucson, Arizona yelp of "Yeeeeaaah!", he has this room in the palm of his hands. 

There's nothing conventional I can add to this review about the songs, I can barely hear him sing as it sounds like he's being beamed from the other side of the moon back to Houston in 1969. One of them is called 'Waterslides and Noodles': a song written during Covid where - unable to tour - Bob made money by writing personalised songs for special occasions and filmed it for all to see. Ironically, it was one of the only things that kept me sane during those anxious times.

There is more to the night than just the visceral and the visual however. A Bob Log III show cleverly utilises his penchant for the surreal to add to the madness; audience participation is actively encouraged. Firstly, he throws balloons into the audience for them to blow up and throw back at him as he plays, creating the party atmosphere early on and allowing him the pleasure of "..stomping on your air!". Later he produces a loaf of bread and a toaster and gets the crowd to keep making toast throughout the night and "..keep it in your pocket for later." Imagine getting a slice of toast at a Ed Sheeran gig - Nope, Health & Safety would prevent you, because BORING CONVENTIONS. Bring back the danger I say, even if it is a toaster that would obviously fail a PAT test. 

If that wasn't enough, Bob also introduces us to his tour manager: An inflatable duck. Pouring a large bottle of Bucks Fizz into it, he invites the crowd to pass it round and take a swig. You'd think we'd have learnt enough about hygiene over the last few years, but apparently not. GIMME DANGER, LITTLE STRANGER. The finale is a call back to all those who kept toast in their pocket, as he invites them onstage to sit on his knee as he plays and to take photos and videos. The room has succumbed to the lunacy and it's glorious.

With that, the evening comes to a close and the biggest takeaway is this - Conventions are made to be broken or at the very least, made fun of. So join me in a toast of Bucks Fizz from an inflatable duck:
Three cheers for standing out from the herd. 

Three cheers for the patently absurd.

Three cheers for Bob Log III. 

Follow Bob Log III on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Buy his music from Bandcamp 

Support his tour by donating a tank of petrol at