LIVE: The Grit, Sorry & The Sinatras and The Loyalties – Camden Underworld, 15/10/09
Good-time rock n roll is very much the order of the day at the Camden Underworld here tonight, with three very different approaches.
As The Loyalties take the stage, and launch into perennial favourite Jimmy Does, a sizeable crowd swells in front of the stage. The Loyalties exude a kind of shambolic charm that is really quite hard to ignore, and even when Tom restarts the second song because he fluffed the bass intro, you find it hard to blame him somehow, he’s just so smiley! But a few minor cock-ups aside, tonight we get a high quality set of hook-laden punky fun that fills the room with good humour and a good vibe, and puts a smile on the face of all but the most miserable bastard there.
I have to say though (even if I do risk a lynching from the more rabid fans out there), Sorry & The Sinatras didn’t possess the same charm. As Scott Sorry suffers continual guitar disasters through the first two songs (seriously, just stop a few minutes and sort the bloody thing out), even an audience who have a lot of time for the guy get a bit irritable. But, guitar finally working, if not actually in tune, the show does finally get off the ground and the Sinatras’ own brand of visceral garage-punk starts to rattle along nicely. Most of the Wildhearts / Sorry fans are certainly kept pretty happy, but for me they really didn’t justify the hype. Maybe I just caught them on a bad day?
On the punkier side of psychobilly, The Grit pretty much rule the room tonight. Having gained a fairly hardcore underground following over the years, the way only bands who’ve been on the psycho circuit seem to do, they give off an air of justified confidence as they rip through their set of psycho odd-ball punk. Frontman Big Lou commands your attention throughout, even if not everyone can penetrate the thick geordie accent, while many of the rest of the band take advantage of Little Man Kurt’s (obviously very sturdy) upright bass for some improbable tricks. Yes, it is possible to play bass when there’s a guitarist balanced on top of it, and no, I didn’t think so either.
The Grit have perfected the trick of taking a well-known rhythm or melody from the great (and unlicensed) realm of ‘traditional’ music, that is already embedded in the minds of the audience, and building a shit-stormer of song around it. All of which results in a ferocious live show where everyone in the room is with the band from the word go, with plenty of moshing going on in front of the stage and a fair few pockets of dancing breaking further into the crowd. All hell breaks out for I Came Out the Womb An Angry Cunt, with its eponymous chorus, and only right really because it’s a ferocious beast of a song, and of course you get to shout cunt a lot when you sing along!
A great night and some great bands tonight (The Adjusters played too, but I missed them, sorry), and I for one am certainly looking forward to seeing some of them again.