Camden Barfly – November 5th
We need to talk about God Damn’s drummer, Ash. Dressed in a white shirt and dungarees, his hair a Sideshow-Bob thatch that captures the stage lights in a flaming sprawl, his is a paradoxically humorous and demented stage presence. His image as a nutcase farmhand is only further complemented by his utterly punishing drumming style. The forces acting upon his snare and floor toms at any one time are surely capable of shattering bone, with skin and cymbal alike battling against his brutal attack. It’s a savage display, ending with the drummer freeing his ride cymbal from its stand to wear like a copper sun-hat, before bringing it crashing down into the centre of the stage.
The act is not unlike God Damn’s set; a short sharp shock of disorientating noise. The nuance in their racket might be lacking but the purity of the assault is admirable. Have them play at your next house party and watch them turn your eardrums, friends and belongings to splinters.
After that blunt force trauma, Radkey’s slice of classic rock is positively soothing. It’s the last night of their tour in support of Dark Black Makeup and the band show little sign of road fatigue. Dee Radkey has a head full of Hendrix, taking every opportunity to throw his best shapes, while Isaiah is a constant source of groove and movement. His bass riffs drive Radkey’s triumvirate of garage noise, adding swagger to the stomp of ‘Love Spills’ and ‘Hunger Pain’. They walk a well-trodden path of three-chord rock, but a layer of darker material still surprises. There is surely a Type O Negative record or two sitting in Dee’s record collection, polluting ‘Song Of Solomon’ and ‘Feed My Brain’ with a silky doom croon.
While these three brothers wouldn’t have had the opportunity to watch Phil Lynott perform (and are probably still too young to buy a beer in their home state), they still carry that classic rock flavour. Mixed with the curb-stomp beats of garage rock and delivered with the enthusiasm and energy of a band in their youth, it’s a familiar yet vital display.