Sheffield, Queens Social Club
19th October 2013
Yorkshire’s blues-rock duo Wet Nuns took to the stage for one last time. Louder Than War’s Rebecca Woods reports.
“There is an end to everything, to good things as well” – Geoffrey Chaucer, 1374.
Alas, Chaucer is right, and here marks the end of the beautiful chapter that has been Wet Nuns’ lustrous career. From the depths of Yorkshire, this two-piece exploded on to the scene three years ago with a less than respectable name and horrifically superb music to boot. However, despite only just releasing their debut album, it’s become time for the pair to put down the guitar and drum sticks – to the despair of their adoring fans. But they couldn’t relent without playing one last gig in their town of origin, and thus they took Queens Social Club, Sheffield by storm.
Holding nothing back, they opened with foot to the floor rock titan ‘No Death’. There was no hesitation in the audience and a mosh pit formed at the first strum of lead singer Rob’s guitar. This was followed by their EP’s title track ‘Broken Teeth’, the first line of which, “I live my life with the taste of blood in my mouth,” echoed around the tinsel lined social club – think Phoenix Nights combined with blues-rock and you get the idea.
They journeyed seamlessly on through more album tracks ‘7 Year Itch’ and ‘Don’t Wanna See Your Face No More’ before drummer Alexis decided to stage dive, to which Rob remarked, “he thought it was the end of the gig”. When his feet were back firmly planted on the stage and he was atop his drum stool once more, Wet Nuns played crowd favourite, heavily blues riffed ‘Why You So Cold?’. It was then time for Alexis to take over the vocals for ‘Laura’, an ode to a sexy musician. Rob’s ability as a guitarist shone brightest here as he effortlessly moved around his guitar with style.
Wet Nuns are the only band I know that thrust the neck of a bottle of rum or whiskey into the mouths of the first two rows like passing round wine at communion. I like to think this is a little more rock ‘n’ roll though.
No gig is complete without an homage to the most faithful of fans, and on this occasion it was rare b-side ‘Denim Axe’ that got the fangirls (in reality mostly fully grown men) skipping with glee, metaphorically of course. Returning to their new material, flawless single ‘Hanging’ reassured the newer fans that they were a band that is sure to be missed. The band’s first release ‘Heavens Below’, which has previously been remixed by Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders, saw the crowd go crazy in a way only Wet Nuns could induce. Alexis took hold of the reins once more for ‘All The Young Girls’, before ending the main proceedings and heading off stage.
Due to the insatiable calls for more, the terrible two came back to play two final tracks for the last time ever. Album closer ‘No Money Blues’ was up first and the crowd revelled in the last few minutes of Wet Nuns’ existence, a somewhat softer tune than is usual from the Nuns, but one that certainly doesn’t lose their uniqueness. Lastly was early release ‘Throttle’. The opening riff is probably the most recognisable by Wet Nuns fans and acted as the perfect way to sign off. Alexis ditched his drums to shower the crowd with Jim Bean before jumping in once more, shortly followed by Rob, the two of them surfing the crowd for a good five minutes. And there it ended.
The death of Wet Nuns is not going to be taken lightly, that’s for sure, but I doubt they’d ever be able to trump that gig anyway.
Rest in peace Wet Nuns, see you on the resurrection tour.
All words by Rebecca Woods. More writing by Rebecca on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive.