Rocket From The Crypt: Manchester Gorilla – live review
1st Dec 2013
Rest easy brethren! those high decibel vagabonds and lovers of the brassed up rock n roll, Rocket From The Crypt, have returned to the battlefield- maybe not in time to save rock n roll from itself but they are going to have a damn good time trying.
The gonzoid preachermen with the power tool riffs have returned with their high decibel punk rock soul power which manages to reference the blues brothers and hardcore in one breath and sweet Stax and old time punk rock in another with the sharpened rush of Minor Threat and the industrial clank of Big Black in there somewhere and still sound like one of the best rock bands on the planet.
The band return after a near decade hiatus with the biggest grins I’ve seen this side of the Clash’s Mick Jones on one of his fine old claret performances. They have declared that they will fly the flag for good times and they certainly put the fun back into funky with their greased up take on righteous soul power and rock n roll fervour played by swagabonds..
The venue is packed when I arrive- not so cutely just missing those Devonian switchblade elves, the Computers- which is a cruel and unfortunate twist as the Exeter based band are going from strength to strength since I last caught up with them playing Manchester Roadhouse a few months ago. That was a killer show that even equalled their stomping set inside a laundrette in Brighton a year before that and the band are currently H.O.T. hot. Now with an added keyboard player they have stretched out their rock n roll fabric and from all accounts tonight they were on fire, with their wiry singer running through the crowd and climbing up onto the back balcony of the room leading the light brigade of stomping rock n soul by example.
They have gone down a storm and must surely be close to the hallowed breakthrough.
It’s truly a night of old school showmen and Rocket from The Crypt don’t miss a showbiz trick. They look fab in their matching mariachi shirts and frontman Speedo’s hilarious stage patter takes on a life of its own as he verbally riffs around anything that takes his fancy. They have virtually the same line up as when they last appeared on these shores and their power is undimmed- I could swear that it’s cranked up even higher.
In their initial storming of the galleon, when they first arrived, there was soon a whole bunch of these bands on the same sort of tip but none of them had the power of da’ Crypt and tonight the guitars really sock it between your eyes with a bludgeoning power proving that underneath the fooling around and the fun RFTC are a great rock band who remember primal power and a stunning sense of dynamics is the key to incendiary action.
The jackhammer riffs and clever use of those dynamics makes them sound astounding as they really tear the venue apart with the firebrand enthusiasm of a band on its first tour of high decibel duty. The well worked out brass still gives them their own flavour- a step to the side of the Saints classic Know Your Product single and Prehistoric Sounds album from when the Australian punk pioneers fell out with their audience by having the audacity to use horns in the middle of the punk rock wars which meant that instead of being lauded as heroic innovators they became cult gold- timing is a bitch folks!
These may be a clutch of old songs- like the classic like Born in 69 and On A Rope which are still key high points in the set with those gang vocals punctuating the anthemic rushes, but the band sound bang on contemporary and if this tour is meant to be just one of on occasional set of jaunts it doesn’t feel like it because you can bet yer bottom dollar that this is a band that has it eye very firmly placed on the full comeback.
Selling out shows like they did tonight is not easy and sounding this urgent and this tight is proof that the band are taking care of business far more seriously than they are letting on.
We can only hope so because da’ Crypt is a band that burns brighter now than it did in its mid nineties flirtation with the ever monochrome mainstream- maybe their time is truly now- a ’13 comeback instead of ’69 comeback?