Father Christmas steps onto the stage – respectful applause. It’s not his first time at the Vanguard. You can tell.
The bearded do-gooder laughs deeply from his entire diaphragm. Then silence. With a few cautious steps he inspects his surroundings. Just so as if he wanted to see, if everything is still where he left it .
Ho, ho, let’s see… Mic, guitar, drum kit… this is it.
It’s time. The troubadour with the scruffy hair starts laying it down with Delilah.
‘I’m lonely… I’m lonely, cause I am all me…’ – No shit!? Of course he is lonely, there wouldn’t be any room for anybody else on stage. Within the first verse Steve Smyth grows into a rock monstrosity, milling the assembled audience with his voice – A lead pipe to the head and a dagger to the heart.
At Cocaine Mountain then, we’re six songs deep into the show; at the bottom of a rock ocean and at the highest peak of a raving trip, Steve is yelling the remaining shreds of poetry into the microphone. A dozen of the vain bodies directly in front of the speakers burst like fat balloons.
Towards the end, the master is cowering under the high art deco ceiling of the venue; that is the immenseness that Steve Smyth has become.
Now he’s beaming with rosy cheeks. A 30-foot Santa Claus, who by the power of his voice, explodes flesh from bone and a pound of cocaine in your chest.
The table next to us has just seen him for the first time and one of the women is crying – Steve Smyth is that fuckin good.