Voodoo Goo Opening Night: Dragster, Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons, Healthy Junkies
The Arches, Coventry
23rd June 2012
An excellent new monthly club night has started in Coventry promising to play some of the best in "punk, ska, surf, rockabilly, metal, psychobilly, and garage rock n roll". It's opening night was last Saturday and we sent Adrian Bloxham along to check it out.
There's a new night to go to, it's been all over Facebook for months and stepped up its profile in the last couple of weeks. Dragster are playing which is reason enough to go and as it's Dragster who are bringing this club to town it's going to be well worth a night out.
We arrive half way through the Healthy Junkies set, the singer strides around the stage looking very much in charge, spike high heels and fishnets giving a sophisticated punk feel. The two guitars one grinning blond spiked and the other brooding fuzztones teeshirted tattooed rocker. They play punk rock'n'roll, pretty much what you expect from a night like tonight and they play it as well as you want.
Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons, excellent name, have Pussycat fronting, a twin Mohican for ears, be afraid emblazoned on her teeshirt, the biggest pair of boots I think I've ever seen and a tail....The bassist is quiff toting, bowling shirt wearing rock'n'roll star and the drummer looks fantastically like he belongs with the NWOBHN (look it up), and that is in no way an insult. Their music stops and starts, moves quickly and slowly and generally makes the set more than just another punk gig. It sounds richer when the singer plays guitar as well and her voice seems not mixed high enough. What they have is stage presence and with all your mates there you are going to have a banter and dedicate songs to them, and leave the stage and sing to them on the floor.
The mighty Dragster headline and fittingly so as this is their night. Diesel is on the left, alone, a big stage presence making a huge guitar noise. On the right are AC Speed who really should, if there was any justice in this world, have jammed with Johnny Thunders and Hanoi Rocks at CBGBs. Next to him, Tom AK on bass, Mohican flat to his head, and pile driving them forward is Alex Page. But what makes the difference and marks this lot out as stars is Fi Dragster, petite, terrifying and drop dead stunning. Captivating from the moment she steps on stage and then she sings.
They aren't subtle and they aren't clever. These songs are punk rock of the Damned and Ramones feel, they move quickly and loudly forward. They use every inch of the stage and although Diesel is rooted to the spot, AK and AC move enough for everyone. They need a bigger stage, they seem to be almost bursting out of this one. Fi prowls, she rolls on the floor, she spits out her words and sings like a monster. Her face contorts with the lyrics and she draws the eye like a magnet. As they finish AC Speed is standing at the back of the audience applauding them.
All three bands got me. But Dragster excelled. I would say if you get the chance to see them go along. But to be honest, find out where they are playing and get there. Just go see them, you won't be disappointed.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.