Thursday, 20 June 2013

The WitchDoktors + The SuperMinx '70 at The Fighting Cocks Kingston-Upon-Thames June 14th

The WitchDoktors Singer/Guitarist Andy - Photo by Steve Worrall
"I can't believe you haven't seen The WitchDoktors yet...!", "The WitchDoktors are right up your street...", "They were so great live, what a show, can't believe you missed them...again...!" Yeah, yeah, many times have I heard it...I know...It has taken me quite some time to get round to seeing the much talked about WitchDoktors, I'd come close, but bad timing and missed opportunities just seemed to go hand-in-hand with this band and me. So, finally last Friday I got my chance to see them play at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston, a great little venue in the Thameside town and I was not disappointed. Promoter Tony Holton put on a great night's entertainment headlined by The Bermondsey Joyriders and ably supported by The SuperMinx '70.

The SuperMinx '70 - Photo by Steve Worrall
I'd first seen The SuperMinx '70 at Jeff Munday's Birthday party and really enjoyed their set but this was the first time to see them with a full P.A. at a proper venue. At the last minute they had to draft in temporary cover for bassist Tom Slatter, and to his credit the replacement did a fine job with what I can only imagine was limited rehearsal time. The SuperMinx '70 have just emerged from the studio with four brand spanking new tracks - their first recordings actually, and rather good they are too. Tonight they start off with my favourite of the bunch, their ode to the star of some saucy British Seventies comedy movies, "Adrienne Posta". It's loud and sounds much more powerful than the recorded version. Next up is "Farringdon's Finest" with it's naggingly catchy chorus, a track that was co-written by Alan May, the DJ at Retro Man Blog's favourite radio show, Glory Boy.

The SuperMinx '70 - Photo by Steve Worrall
Singer Paul Osborn introduces the excellent "This Is The Sound" as their "Garage Rock song" and it certainly has that raw sound that packs a punch. "Who Are Ya?" is as you would probably guess from the title, a football terrace chant of a song, stuffed full of aggression. "Jeffrey's Song" is a slow, snaking number based on a plaintive sax riff with a heartfelt chorus and "Waltzer" is a brash fairground singalong. "Do Da" has some great lyrics about beer bellies and I can see people holding their stomachs in, me included, as the subject matter becomes clear. Another of the songs from their download E.P. "What Would You Change?" is an excellent way to end what was a great set. The band will play at the 12 Bar Club on Saturday June 22nd with The Loop, so if you're in London on Saturday why not pop along to see The SuperMinx '70, you won't be disappointed.

The WitchDoktors - Photo by Steve Worrall
So, The WitchDoktors take the stage and the temperature in the already baking hot venue is raised a few more degrees as they slam straight into the rollicking "Movie Star" from the latest album "$3.00 Hooker". The lyrics name check some pretty cool actors and it's clear that the band are steeped in that classic Americana and vintage Rock 'n' Roll imagery of old Hollywood glamour, bowling shirts, Sci-Fi comic books, road trips, diners and plenty of beer along the way. The song pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the gig, it's high energy, non-stop action from the off. The band are a great live act, with bassist Zig and guitarist Tony vying for attention up against front man Andy who is not going to relinquish the spotlight easily. "No Pain No Gain" and my personal highlight of the night "I'm Sick", are prime cuts of sleazy Garage Rock, bursting with hooks and harmonies and they both thunder along like an out of control dragster.

The WitchDoktors bassist Zig - Photo by Steve Worrall
"Knock Me Back" and "Neck Tattoo" channel The Sonics and Rocket From The Crypt perfectly, before we are reminded that the band are from South London and they don't neglect their British Punk Rock, roots as they play great covers of "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" and "Neat Neat Neat" which are both really well received. Tony plays a mean harmonica too and it all adds to a enticing cocktail of Punk Rockabilly on last song "Common Prayer For The Working Man" with it's crazed Johnny Cash rhythm which brings the set crashing to a close. It's fantastic stuff, I'm completely hooked and will definitely be getting along to see the band at the next available opportunity, hopefully the Rock 'n' Roll gods will look down kindly on me and make sure this time the fates don't conspire to keep me away for too long!

The WitchDoktors Guitarist Tony and Drummer Si - Photo by Steve Worrall
The WitchDoktors are working on their fourth album which will be out either later this year or more likely early next year. The band usually play the 12 Bar Club every 2nd Friday of the month (except August) and some other key dates this year include October 4th at The Barfly with the DeRellas, Day Of The Dead Festival back at The Fighting Cocks in early November and Stay Sick in Brighton Blind Tiger on December 14th with The Mojo Kings. Check out their Facebook page for news and info.

For more photos of The WitchDoktors and The SuperMinx '70 "Like" the Retro Man Blog Facebook page for access to the Photo album. Here's a Video of The WitchDoktors and "No Pain, No Gain" - sorry about the sound quality, it was LOUD and nearly blew my camera to pieces...!

Here's The SuperMinx '70 with "Adrienne Posta" introduced by David Williams...

No comments:

Post a Comment