|The Dangerfields/The Hip Priests/8.4% - Porth, Rhondda Hotel - 28th May 2010|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Friday, 04 June 2010 06:00|
These days when a lot of touring bands appear to have forgotten about us rockers west of the Severn Bridge you would be forgiven for expecting that tonight's show, the first of two Welsh dates by Irish reprobates The Dangerfields accompanied by Nottingham's finest fuck ups The Hip Priests would be bursting at the seams.
But, as is all too usual, as we entered the venue to catch the first chords crashing out from local punk rock upstarts 8.4% the crowd had barely crept past double figures never mind to the wall busting proportions this line up of quality acts so justly deserved. As for 8.4%, this was never going to be what you might call 'an easy' gig for the three lads from Pontypool, playing on a borrowed back line to an audience only on its fifth or sixth pint, this was always going to be more of "a warming up for Griswold" type appearance. Yet saying that tracks like 'U.S. Punks' and 'Take All Of Me' still retained that totally wrecked charm that is so symbolic of the band's appeal. Singer/bassist Poul's admission that "we'd do most anything to get into a Hip Priests show for free" only seemed to help to reinforce the point that they were just happy to be here tonight. See you at Slugfest 3 lads.
8.4% having wound up their brief set with a cover of the Dead Boys 'Sonic Reducer' set the scene perfectly for the fearsome sound of satire, sex and sin about to follow them. Stepping out from the shadows of the local piss drenched underpass where they'd allegedly been sucking off passers by for kebab and beer money, Nottingham porn rock barons The Hip Priests hit the stage with their own frenzied tribute to said song in the shape of 'Sonic Reproducer' making it as near as damn perfect introduction to the band's twisted world as you could get. Singer Gary X-Ray may possess some of the most ridiculous dance moves this side of a deceased Jackson family member, but his rugged charm and humour soon had the Rhondda faithful eating out of the palms of his dirty leather gloved hands. Even if his call for "free drugs and booze" was met with a lightning quick "you won't get many up here butt" riposte. Imagine what Dave Vanian might have been like if he had been the frontman of Turbonegro instead of The Damned and you won't be a million miles away from Gary X-Ray. With their forty odd minutes on stage littered with single entendres (these guys really don't fuck around) it was left to 'I Love To Fuck' from the band's 'Tight 'N' Exciting' album to finally get the punters up and (bad wedding) dancing, which in itself must have felt like a giant victory on their part.
The Hip Priests are without doubt the best UK band I've seen playing this type of garage punk shit in a long time. Make sure you catch them in a toilet or underpass near you soon.
As the Hip Priests 'full on muff' backdrop was raised to the ground to reveal the legend Danger Fuckin' Fields I recalled just how many times I'd expected to see this band live only for them to have yet another guitarist leave and scupper my chances of seeing them. Tonight band mainstay Andrew Griswold had seemingly rescued this tour from the brink of yet another disaster by recruiting one of the children of damned to stand in on guitar alongside his long-standing cohort bassist Jamie Delerict. Mixing up equal parts AC/DC, Zeke and The Dwarves, the Dangerfields are celebrating ten years of making a fantastic racket, by making...a fantastic racket. From the off songs whiz past you faster than Usain Bolt's slong and it is only the hilarious between song banter between Andrew and his touring entourage that keeps his band's set from being about fifteen minutes long. Tracks like 'Voodoo Doll', 'Mark Of The Beast' and 'Wolf Man' being perfect examples of when a band does this lightning fast shit well, it's all about the song not the fucking image, and as the band's Myspace proudly states, "if you don't like the Dangerfields you don't like Rock 'n' Roll"...simple. The only track slow enough for the audience to really get to grips with 'Rock Club' saw the (bad wedding) dancing return en mass before Andrew closed the night with possibly the funniest quip of the year, chastising Uber Rock's very own Dave Prince for having the worst taste in music by playing the awful Rock Sugar on the venue's PA. Jesus the word really must be spreading.
For £5 tonight a mere handful of us experienced what true punk rock is all about. Just remember that the next time a band you want to see refuses to play a venue close to you. Home taping may not have killed music, but apathy is certainly having a good stab at it.