Friday, December 15, 2006

Horror Show


Managed to pop along to see The Horrors the other night, knowing full well that I'd be just about the oldest person there. Mind you, I think Peaches Geldof would have been sneered at for being too old. The mean age was probably about 16, I'd say; we knew this when we walked to the bar, and, upon asking for two beers, were politely informed that it was soft drinks only that night. The crowd, unusually in this day and age, had made something of an effort to dress up. There was a lot of peroxide in the air, and many punters had chosen to wear fishnet tights (and that was just the blokes--b'dum tssh, I thangew).

Actually, it was all a bit Rocky Horror Show, but the kids in the crowd absolutely lapped it up, clearly being too young to remember The Cramps, or Alice Cooper before them. The group played up the Grand Guignol for all it was worth; the keyboard player (who delights in the soubriquet Spider Webb) was wearing a cape, ferchrissakes, and twirled it round quite a lot. Faris Rotter, the singer and backcombed object of the crowd's veneration, leapt into the throng on more than one occasion, to the chagrin of the bouncers who kept trying to pull him back on stage. The girls in the audience (and possibly some of the boys) screamed, not in terror, but rather in excitement, like the crowd at the beginning of A Hard Day's Night. We (that's Malcolm and I) both remarked later that this was the first gig we'd ever been to where anyone actually screamed. There was a lot of strobe. It was over almost as soon as it had begun, within 27 minutes in fact, presumably so the kids could go and do their homework.

The sound? Well, go on then, if you insist. A liitle bit Cramps, a little bit Nuggets, a little bit Foetus. Slightly heavier and less garagey (is that even a word?) than on record. But I get the impression that the music is secondary in importance to the group's image for the kids in the audience. And just in case you think this is going to turn into a "style over substance" rant, I'm actually all in favour of their dressing up as The Addams Family. Christ knows we could do with some pop stars that know how to look and act like pop stars rather than Gap adverts. If I were a sixteen-year old kid faced with a musical diet of "ITV indie" like Keane, The Kooks, and The Killers, then I too would probably go nuts at the sight of The Horrors. They may not be offering anything new, but they're a damn sight more attractive than 98% of the charts right now.



You can see the Chris Cunningham-directed vid for Sheena Is A Parasite here:





Bonus:
See Foetus and Soft Cell covering Suicide's Ghost Rider!

4 comments:

not very fast but unfortunately all too bulbous said...

I have so say I do like 'Sheena is a parasite', though the taste may fade after a few listens. As a former (and still, if I'm honest) fan of Bauhaus, then The Cramps and The Gun Club (though I drew the line at the appalling crop of UK 'goth' bands like the Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Fucking Nephilim), I too like to see a bit of preening darkness and Carry on Screaming chic on stage. It's good for the kids.
I went to see another old fave recently at the Mean Fiddler; Dinosaur Junior (or Dinosaur as they were known before some faded 60's almost-was sued them. Cheers Terry!). It was refreshing to stand at the front, right next to three boys (or "dudes", as I believe they say on the street these days) no older than 16, who were a-quiver with excitement and seemed to know all the songs, despite most of them being written before they were born.

The Fire of Love said...

I remember seeing Jeffrey Lee Pierce (RIP Jeffrey), after the Gun Club split up. He toured with his own band (featuring a sexy chinese chick on guitar, as an aside) and I saw them at The Warehouse in Leeds. It was a great gig, really fucking intense, but Pierce was dogged by feedback problems throughout. At one point, between songs, Jeffrey's amp squealed like a scalded piglet. Someone in the crowd cheered loudly. Jeffrey gazed towards the cheeree and drawled "so you like feedback, huh?", then proceeded to play a 10 minute feedback solo with his knobs set to 11. What a guy.
http://www.thegunclub.net/

The Fire of Love said...

Amazingly, there's a few pics of the Leeds Warehouse gig on the gallery section of the website above, and the sexy guitarist was called Romi Mori.

irkthepurists said...

>>>Carry on Screaming chic...

Ha ha! Spot on! They do have that paticularly British take on camp horror nailed. My comparisons to The Addams Family and Rocky Horror Show were slightly wide of the mark...