Rock and Metal doesn’t always have to be serious and it’s variety that makes the world a vibrant place. And sometimes you can just sing songs about putting things in people.
So it was that your NSNTM correspondent let his (thinning and rapidly disappearing) hair down and trudged through the snow to Angel on 2nd March to see Electric Six at the Islington Academy laughing in the face of the “Beast from the East” mild snow flurry, more than one of the support acts managed.
Cutant Mutant Monster
Therefore, first up were all female Japanese pop-punker trio Mutant Monster. The trend of more all-female bands is definitely encouraging, even if it would be better to see a few more home grown. While we consider ourselves a broad (if currently limited) church at NSNTM, pop-punk just isn’t something with which I can get on board. If the spirit of punk isn’t dead, Mutoid Monster had a go at hammering in the final nail with their damnably cute set. Long live hardcore.
It wasn’t even that Mutant Monster were bad, they played catchy songs (a kind of Japanese take on early Green Day or The Hives) and played them well. But at its best, punk is supposed to be unpredictable, zero fucks given, dangerous. The Japanese trio were about as dangerous as Pikachu, Squirtle and Blubasaur having a giggling party. May the Fox God smite them.
Verdict: Insufficient breakdowns, insufficient menace
Dick Valentine and the Dick Valentine Band
Who is playing with Dick Valentine this year? It doesn’t really matter. The man knows what the punters want. In an 18 song set, 6 of them came from their first album “Fire” that brought them so much fame, followed by general apathy. Frankly, you’d be forgiven for wondering if Electric Six had any other songs
They came on stage as a pretty crazy ensemble, one guitarist dressed as Elvis, four bandmembers sporting sunglasses and quickly cracked out the rager “Naked Pictures”. But the bandmembers don’t matter. This is all about Dick Valentine. He emphasised how much Electric Six is about him by constantly referring to his drummer as “my drummer” rather than with a name.
But Dick Valentine is a great front man. And he does have other songs. And they’re fucking great. Beyond the “Fire” songs Electric Six are a bit less rock and much more funk, and live it is sooooooooo danceable. At the front we swayed with the unstoppable rhythms of “Down at McDonaldz” and “Randy’s Hot Tonight” which are absolute bangers. At times, Dick seemed like a man caught in the middle of a long tour with a bit of rehearsed banter between songs but then Electric Six did move into the “Fire” songs and surprisingly, for this correspondent at least, the place basically exploded into a moshpit from then on, or if you like… Improper Dancing.
“If you live in a plastic house, you’ll never die in a fire, if you work in television, you’re a fucking liar” – words to live by from “Randy’s Hot Tonight”
Encore was obviously the apocalyptic “Dance Commander”. Safe to say a good time was had by all. Your NSNTM correspondent and editor then exited stage right and hotfooted to Facedown in the Scala where we cleansed ourselves in the Trauma Room by forcing the DJ to play “Hydra” by Fit For An Autopsy. Balance was restored to the metal force.
Verdict: A surprising amount of moshing and some real hidden gems from an underrated band.