Yorkshire House Reviews - Caned Unableby Paddy Garrigan - April 2002
You can often judge a band by the quality of their Roadie. Caned Unable bring you, ladies and gentlemen, the very finest, the very heaviest ROCK. And you can tell this before they even so much as play a note, by simply examining their Roadie. Burly, aged, extremely hairy and bespectacled (think back to that advice your mother gave you about self-abuse, if you don't believe that Spectacles=RAWK), the Unable's able Roadie is a veritable Stonehenge of Rock. Looks good already.
Sadly, the gig does not start as I'm hoping. I walk in to what can only be described as a public soundcheck. A Roses-y groove is loping away beneath some guitar playing that is equally trademarked "J. Squire, c1990". Most unexpected, and a shame they couldn't tell us what was happening at the time, really. It did mean that, once the first song proper kicked in, the audience looked visibly stunned. A big, bulging rocker of a song, with big trebly wah-wah'ed guitars, and some of the most shocking On-Stage Operatic Laughter witnessed at the Yorkie since the death of Krill. Surprised doesn't begin to cover it, mate.
More amazingly, the boys continue to Rock at this level all night long, baby. A sped-up "Sweet Home Alabama" progression may sound quite unpromising on paper, but it is quite saved by the utterly British vocal delivery we get, not just here but every where. The lead vocalist can only be highly commended for singing in a big strong manner that at no point threatens to become even east- (let alone "mid-") Atlantic. There's nothing worse than seeing people pretend to be what they are not, and Caned Unable make a refreshing change in this. Their tastes sound fairly American to me (mind you, I thought Mel Gibson was American, too, so what do I know), a liberal sprinkling of Pearl Jam and REM in the sound as far as I could ascertain, but their tastes at no point threaten to overwhelm their sense of personality.
There are, however, areas in which matters could be improved. Let us ponder the tricky area of guitar solos for a second - you may have spent the hard-earned cash on that wah-wah pedal, but you don't have to use it in every solo, you know. Although it did sound very good in one late song, where the best solo Slash never took appeared to leave audience members strangely unmoved. Charlatans. Also, if yer man the singer is taking a guitar solo on his acoustic, maybe it would be nice to hear it. And, on a final critical note, unless "can I have a bit less backing in the monitor" is actually the chorus line (to three different songs), would it be possible to give directions to the soundman in between songs? Whilst I'm sure he likes the attention, could we have a bit, too?
But this aside, it was most enjoyable and reassuring to watch a guitar band make heavy rock with a British accent which neither whinged about how shit life is nor bored the arse of us with Tolkienesque swords & sorcery. They may not, perhaps, look quite like rock stars, but they're certainly trying something out. Good luck to 'em, I say.
- original review available from archive.org