Written by Abel Carmona
May 31, 2007 at 08:00 PM
ImageI made it out to see Albert Hammond Jr. over at the Warehouse tonight, who I had missed seeing the last time he was in town due to the fact that the Toadies were playing the same night and I figured that wasn’t something I was going to be seeing again for a long time. So I decided to make it up to Albert by showing up and seeing what all this solo album business was all about.

I brought a friend with me to the show who loves Albert Hammond Jr. and of course the Strokes. So needless to say I was being told how great he was the whole way up there. To open the show the ‘Dead Trees’ took the stage and while they had a decent sound they weren’t something I’d be rushing out to buy anytime soon. Their music was a mix of 60’s-70’s rock with a bluesy feel to it. There were a few songs of theirs that had a nice sound, but they were nothing that really stuck to mind.

As Albert Hammond was about to take the stage it began to get really crowded in the Warehouse’s studio side which was a little bit of a surprised to me because my friend told me when Hammond was here the last time over at Meridians red room there was only like 50 people there so I wasn’t expecting a full room tonight.  But as the room filled Albert Hammond Jr. ran on stage to a roar of applause as he began his set.  Albert began with ‘In Transit’ and played what seemed like the entirety of his “Yours to Keep” Album.

Some of the most notable songs from the set were ‘101′, ‘Scared’ and ‘Everyone Gets a Star’. Watching Albert play was something of a surprise to me because of when watching him with the Strokes he seems so much less animated on stage. His erratic guitar playing is pretty impressive to say the least he starts many songs off with a nice controlled strum and ends up with his hands exploding over the strings. During a few songs his hands were moving so fast it was hard to even see how he was playing.

While most know Hammond from his work with the Strokes, Hammond was born with music in his blood. His father was also a well known musician Albert Hammond so I’m sure he was brought up on music his whole life. It was when his parents sent him to a boarding school in Switzerland, that he met Julian Casablancas and the two formed a friendship that led to the beginning of the Strokes. And while Casablancas writes a majority of the Strokes material, Albert Hammond Jr. also helped on a few tracks which gave him the idea of doing a solo album of his own music.

By the end of the show I had become a fan of Hammonds, I really enjoyed his music and watching him play tonight. If you haven’t heard Albert Hammond Jr. solo stuff you really should give it a listen it’s some of the most original work that I have heard in while. As far as I know he is also still out on tour and really trying to get this album pushed so there’s a good chance we’ll see him here in Houston again after tonight’s show when so well…