The Lexington, London
2nd Oct 2013
As they release a new double CD edition of their most recent album, Willow Colios went to check out long time Louder Than War favourites Big Sexy Noise in London.
Blasts of The Groundhogs’ Cherry Red and Stooges’ Loose from the DJ set the scene perfectly for Big Sexy Noise, a collaboration between Lydia Lunch and Gallon Drunk that has spawned two LP’s; 2009s Big Sexy Noise and 2011’s Trust The Witch which has just been re-released as a double CD with a live bonus disc.
Lydia introduces the band, Drummer Ian White and Guitarist James Johnston and then says:
“If you don’t know who I am it’s your fucking problem.”
“We love you Lydia” comes a shout from the crowd.
“Thanks. I love myself too.” she retorts.
You may have noticed there’s no Terry Edwards. I certainly have. The real explosiveness of Big Sexy Noise’s debut record came from Terry’s saxophone playing. It just gives the band an extra edge that is sadly missing tonight but the guitar freak-outs and pounding drums still take the sound to mesmerising heights against which Lydia Lunch can unleash demonic lust on the massed throng.
Self assured and enjoying herself, the request for cognac, a hallmark of every Big Sexy Noise show, is fulfilled quite speedily. Perhaps the roasting the bar staff received on the bands previous visit to the venue at the turn of the year had an effect! Everyone is fair game with even the sound guy given a stern warning about not letting the mics feed back and there’s clearly no doubt who is in charge tonight.
There’s a delicious violence to Lydia’s delivery, unabashed and passionate, whether she is singing about desire, drugs, sex or all three together. “Bring it to the table, lay it on the line. Take a little taste of yours, but first have a little taste o’ mine” She sings on Ballin’ The Jack a tale of card sharking set against a repetitive churning riff from James Johnston’s Fender Jaguar.
And it’s the theatrics and interplay between the singer and guitarist that really carry the show. There’s a lot of energy on stage and it’s like they are magnets pulling together and then pushing apart as lyrics are spat and the guitar sound crunches and breaks.
We get an encore of the band’s (much heavier and louder) cover version of Lou Reed’s Kill Your Sons which featured on the Big Sexy Noise LP. The packed crowd are hungry for even more, but any baying for blood is cut short before it starts as Lydia signs off with “If you want some more buy the record”.
So there’s no sax tonight but still plenty of sex, and if you get a chance to see Big Sexy Noise don’t pass it up. It’s not what you got, it’s what you’re gonna get.
Collision Course / Trust The Witch is out now on Cherry Red Records.
And you can keep up with Big Sexy Noise on their official Facebook page.