LIVE REVIEW: Louder Than Death, Silly Walks, The Moron-O-Phonics @ The Cluny, Newcastle (18.09.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Graeme Baty

Virtually a Tyneside supergroup, The Moron-O-Phonics are always fun. As much British Invasion as garage explosion, their songs are all brief, snappy, wonderfully arranged and stuffed to the gills with melody. All this and an attempted dance-off (prize: £4.50 and a ‘sucky sweet’).

Roaring out of Montpelier with a Pythonesque name and a nice line in rollnecks ’n’ braces, garage trio Silly Walks took a while to warm to – they were tight and looked great and ticked all the right boxes sonically but seemed to lack personality. By the end of their brisk set they’d won me over with a slamming blend of garage punk, rockabilly and surf. They were real sweeties too.

Louder Than Death is the latest incarnation (at time of going to press!) of King Khan, one of the greatest frontmen in the world, a true believer in unity, tight undies and the healing power of rock ’n’ roll, proof that some heroes DO wear capes (sometimes). LTD eschews the King’s usual garage soul styles in favour of pure fucking punk rock – this music is equal parts Dead Boys, Ruts and Ramones, and they even do a Babylon-referencing reggae number to earn their Bad Brains Badges.

Musically, perhaps it’s not the King’s most satisfying outfit but the gig is a LOT of fun as his CBGBs-tatty band rip through an amphetamine-jagged set and the King parades around in his pants, cut-off denim jacket and Leather Boy hat. Between the buzzsaw explosions, you get the (un)usual stream of thoughts from the man himself, mostly unquotable but there are references to shadow-masochism, fisting Hermione from Harry Potter, Al Capone’s syphilis and all sorts of other filth. We get a Spits cover (Sean Spit was supposed to be here but never made it through immigration), the King wanders through the crowd and hugs EVERYBODY, and they finish with the magnificent Baby Huey, sadly without the Ian Svenonius guest vocal but still full of Black Panther Power. While people like King Khan are still out there doing it, rock ’n’ roll is in safe hands.


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