The Orbitsuns, The Greystones 6.7.11
There's always been a dark side to country music.
Merle Haggard did time in San Quentin and ran a gambling racket from his cell, Johnny Cash ingested large quantities of prescription drugs and set fire to a national forest, Jerry Lee Lewis shot his bass player in the chest with a Magnum.
The Orbitsuns rousingly walk this wild side of country in their lyrics, mix it up with plenty of hard rock flourishes, tasteful lap steel guitar and dark, dodgy lyrics ('Tornado In My Pants' is about exactly what you suspect it might be about) and the end result is rather wonderful, the musical equivalent of the Coen Brothers' film epic 'Blood Simple': "I've got a .45 and a shovel and no-one's gonna miss you...."
Vocalist Vinnie Dombroski is an engaging master of ceremonies and takes his duties very seriously. Thankfully, an invitation to female members of the audience to whisper profanities into the bass player's ear during "I Love Girls That Swear" falls flat on its face, but the community singalong to "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on" is a winner.
Jackson Smith, son of Patti, impressed on bottleneck guitar but a quick straw poll of me and my mate Phil at chucking-out time pronounces drummer Jimmy Paluzzi the star of the evening for keeping the band's ramshackle rockabilly right on the money.
Industry outsiders from blue-collar ghost town Detroit, as comfortable with MC5 as they are with Hank Williams, The Orbitsuns have the proper credentials to deliver the boot up the rear that country music desperately needs from time to time. They impressed at the Glastonbury Festival by all accounts and the good people at The Greystones did well to bring them to town.