Micky P Kerr
Josephs Well, Leeds
A couple of years ago I went to go see my hero Bob Dylan play at Nottingham Arena. It was pap. He played for 2 hours, which was great, but his vocal style was horrific, oscillating between dying cat and dying pensioner, neither of which were particularly pleasant on the ear. This was part of his 'charm' whereby songs were hardly recognisable from the classic versions played to death the world over. Dylan also had the arrogance (possibly deserved considering his undoubted level of talent) to omit support acts from the bill. None were needed. Bob Dylan is the man people forked out forty quid to see, so why put Willy Mason or Bright Eyes on the bill for etiquette's sake? Tonight is similar in this respect. Kind of.
Micky P Kerr, who plays in Leeds on a weekly basis, has taken the fresh approach of omitting support acts himself tonight, but rather than playing one two hour set, he has decided to play three forty-minute-ish sets all in contrasting styles. Set one is mostly poetry tending to be in a comedic style, with the odd accompanying folk track as well. Set two is alt-country-esque pop. Set three is hip-hop/pop. If you've never seen Micky P Kerr before then this will all sound utterly bizarre, but I would hope if you take an interest in innovation then it would at least sound intriguing. Micky P Kerr is not to everyone's taste, but entertaining it certainly is.
His first set of expletive ridden poetry about drinking, shagging and texting have drawn the peeps in early and from the beginning it is apparent Josephs Well is going to be sticky tonight. It is already close to sell out, which is impressive considering the lack of support act to bring in the odd non-Kerr fan and also the torrential thunder storms outside. A week earlier I had seen Mr Kerr perform at a birthday party for some middle-class 50 year-olds, including lines about 'fingering birds,' which didn't go down too well. Tonight his fans were cheering every blue phrase and double entendre joyously, before the ukulele comes out for the raucous I Like Drinking, which resembles an Irish sing-a-long.
His band, entitled The Dudes, are in full force for set two, comprising of drummer, keyboardist, guitars and backing-vocalists. The set includes the 'Louder Than Bombs Records' released single 'Susan May' and numerous other radio-friendly pop tunes. Infact every song seems to scream 'release me' louder than an Engelbert Humperdinck number.
He finally returns to the stage for a set of songs sandwiched stylistically between Goldie Lookin' Chain and The Outhere Brothers, finally finishing with a cover of 2-Unlimited's No Limits. Some people might turn their nose up at such blatant scene-hopping, but this is entertainment and humour is a part of that. There is an entourage of Leeds musicians joining him on stage at the end who clearly agree. What is more is that his versatility is unparalleled in Leeds, and almost certainly further afield. Who else can perform a political folk song, a bonafide bubblegum pop tune and lyrically tasteless rap-track all on the same night?
Photo Credit: Cliff Manning