Band – The Night Marchers, duhh!
Support – The Kits
Venue – 100 Club
Beer – ouch.
Verdict – Whhhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Ahh Speedo, is there nothing he can’t do? The man’s a tour-de-force of pure rock, there’s no denying that. His CV boasts the very cream of rock music, from his time in the mathy pioneers Drive Like Jehu, rock ‘n’ rollers Rocket From The Crypt, surf punks the Sultans and the barbed frenzy of Hot Snakes. Now he returns with The Night Marchers and boy are they something.
Before the main event, there’s the supports to get through. I’d arrived late at the venue, which I wasn’t to bothered about. However, what did tick me off was the only support band of the night decided they’d be late as well – thanks. Once The Kits finally started, I began to wish they hadn’t even bothered. I’d have much preferred to listen to the DJ spinning dad-era rock ‘n’ roll all night. Imagine the most un-offensive, watered down garage rock imaginable. Got that? Right, now add a hideously high bass tone and drown out all the guitars so only the piss-weak solos can be half heard, and add in vocals that sound like they’re being shouted at you in another room through a wasps nest. Yeah, I pretty much thought it sucked. Big time. Even Speedo seemed to agree with me: he left during the second track.
After some more ‘best of the 60’s volume 2‘ and several more pints of wallet-raping beer, The Night Marchers blasted their way on stage. Tommy Kitsos’s driving bass heralded the first song of the night in the form of the hip-shaking rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Bad Bloods.’ Just hearing Speedo’s “HUH!” as the song picked up was music to my ears. It’s a brilliant opening tune, with a terrific driving chorus and melody. Superb. From this outset, I already knew tonight was going to be a memorable musical treat. No disrespect to the other band members, but Speedo has the kind of stage presence that leaves you mesmorised. You’re drawn to his every word, laughing at his sarcastic and scathing humour, loving the quiff…if you were to look up the words ‘rock n’ roll’ in the dictionary, they’d be a picture of him giving you the thumbs up.
Faster than Speedy Gonzalez on Redbull, they launch into a raucous rendition of the first track from ‘See You In Magicâ€™; the ever pleasing and chugging riffage of ‘Closed For Inventory.â€™ The Night Marchers might just well be the perfect band of Speedoâ€™s that you can enjoy without being battered to death in a windmill of flailing limbs. Those of the glasses wearing nature like myself, had nothing to fear in terms of losing their precious eyes to a misplaced fist then to several misplaced feet as their only source of seeing power is ground into a fine powder. Despite this, everyone and I mean everyone was having the time of his or her lives. ‘In Dead Sleepâ€™ ploughed itâ€™s noisy furrow through everyoneâ€™s ears; itâ€™s dark, menacing tones enveloping the 100 Club, whilst the joyous pop-rock gem of ‘I Wanna Deadbeat Youâ€™ brought on the first biggest sing-along of the evening (and perhaps my closest chance to hearing what a Rocket From The Crypt track would sound like live.)
The jaunty strut of ‘Whoâ€™s Lady R U?â€™ confirmed just how brilliant The Night Marchers are live. The gloriously riff-heavy bass work that slides into the hook-laden chorus is a joy to hear, as is a rousing rendition of the summery guitar-driven pop of ‘Jump In The Fire.’ At one point, Gar Wood started using his guitar as a ‘rifle’ to shoot members of the audience, wearing a smile that was so big it looked as if his head was about to fall off.
The highlight of the set though was the ridiculously brilliant 1-2 punch of ‘Scene Report‘ and ‘Fisting The Fanbase‘ two tracks that did not feature on ‘See You In Magic’ but should have. ‘Scene Report‘ throws itself around like as Tasmanian devil on fire; the energetic guitar work being put through its paces with real gusto – terrific slice of punk rock. Unfortunately my brain was knackered by beer and my only memory of the last track, was that it rocked. HARD. Possibly one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, seriously. With no encore (and rightly so, the only way they were going to top ‘Fisting The Fanbase’ was by playing it again, possibly faster) The Night Marchers left the stage like the sweaty gods they are.
My only regret is not seeing them on the other 2 London dates before, but then I’d have less money than Northern Rock and be visiting this website everyday. Goodbye.
Words – Me
Pictures – Marc Jeeves