The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing/Wil Hodgson/Andrew O'Neil - Cardiff, Bogiez - 28th October 2012 Print E-mail
Written by Chris O   
Friday, 09 November 2012 03:30

The_Men_BogiezEvery now and then you go to a gig that leaves you with a big smile on your face, and this one left me grinning like a lunatic for days. I had been looking forward to this gig for weeks and my curiosity grew further when it was announced that comedian Wil Hodgson was going to be the main support. I can't remember going to a music gig with a comedian as support so this was new territory for me.


I arrived at Bogiez with my good lady wife at around 8pm to the sight of a small but interesting looking crowd. We were dressed in regulation gig wearing gear of jeans and a t-shirt but at least half of the room were steampunked up to the max. It is a very cool look, all trenchcoats and goggles and guns and bodices and military apparel. Right then I wanted to be a steampunk.


The night kicked off with a punk cover band who murdered their way through a plethora of twee covers by the likes of Abba, The Village People, Blondie, Johnny Cash and the Proclaimers. Just like the old Kit Kat advert, they couldn't sing, they couldn't play and they looked awful; but they went a long way to warming up the crowd by putting their all into it and, despite their limitations, it was a fun way to start things off.


Then Andrew O'Neil (guitarist and vocalist for 'The Men') took to the stage with a short comedy set that was an engaging and funny segue into the main support, Wil Hodgson. Wil whizzed through a hilarious monologue of a set including some wickedly funny topical material on Jimmy Savile which had most of the room in hysterics. Mixing comedy with music could have been a risky move, but given that The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are essentially a humour based band with a couple of comedians in their ranks, the crowd were always going to be up for it.


Onto the main event, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing (henceforth known as TMTWNBBFN to save my fingers). Since the moment I read the Uber Rock review of their second album I've been a huge fan of this band and I have followed them closely ever since. I'm delighted to report that they don't disappoint live either, turning in a hugely enjoyable performance covering 16 or so of their finest tunes.


Visually TMTWNBBFN are a very striking band. Frontman Gerhard 'Andy' Heintz is a statuesque, mutton-chopped, folically challenged giant on stage with a commanding presence that demands attention. He's flanked by Mr O'Neil and Marc Burrows, both comedians and both very much at home on stage, confidently addressing the crowd in between songs. The dreadlocked Jez Miller completes the coolness sat at his drum-kit at the centre rear.


Musically they are more talented than I expected. At one point O'Neil quipped that they had to actually learn to play their instruments as people seemed to want to hear more of their songs, and I don't think he was joking. They were tight as a gnats chuff all evening.


The set flew by, and there were many highlights including 'Brunel' (surprisingly making an appearance very early on), 'Margate Fhtagn' (Chas 'n' Dave meets Cannibal Corpse), 'Goggles', 'Tesla Coil' and the sing-alongable 'Jesus Was A Cockney'. A good buddy of mine came along on the strength of my recommendation and hearing a few tracks before-hand and he was well and truly converted by the end of the night.


The only downside of the night was the size of the crowd. It was a Sunday night, and this gig came on the back of a run of Halloween gigs at Bogiez (and of course Ebbw Vale) on the weekend so that definitely played a part. Those of us that were there witnessed a band who know how to put on a show and who are growing in ability and confidence. They promised to return, and wherever you may be I recommend that you catch TMTWNBBFN while you can.


To visit The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing store on Amazon - CLICK HERE