Dirty Fences – Live and Loud

(c) Will Robinson
(c) Will Robinson

Dirty fences are your grandma’s idea of a rock band. Ideas she’s cobbled together from bad stories she’s heard involving reprobates, the kind she worried you’d get involved with when you hit puberty. The kind who introduced you to animal porn videos and lighter fluid… Remember them?

The Dirty Fences have the classic rock n roll look of any girl band of the late 70’s and when the drummer opens his gob and the voice of a New York garbage collector comes out, you put your glasses on and realise that they’re actually tough looking guys in lady wear.

When they burst into their opening song everyone in the Shacklewell Arms was grinning nervously. I too felt nervous, the way you feel when you’ve arrived late to see a particularly vicious stand up comedian, only the first row seats are available and you know your bladder won’t cope for long.

Dressed in their sisters’ clothes, the band held complete command of the room. It seemed all too easy, they had the kind of skill that can only be acquired from an early age with years of bouncing on beds and swinging tennis rackets at their brothers light bulbs. It was difficult to see what was going on behind all the smoke and hair, but I spotted some moves only real rock stars can land smoothly with some wide stances and back-to-back guitar soloing thrown in.

We’ve all seen and heard it all before, the songs are exactly what you’d expect from a bunch of blokes with big hair, showing their nipples off, playing a collage of Ramones, Clash and other 70’s rock standards. If you saw them on top of the pops with the volume down, you’d know what they sounded like. You’d read the chords. But who cares? The Dirty Fences are FUN and they seem to know what you want and they’ll GIVE it to you with a cheeky grin.

People bang on about the blues having a baby and calling it rock n roll. With the blues you can keep spanking the same old chords and it never runs out of juice. It’s the same with this classic (whatever you wanna call it) rock… It’s like the simple ingredients handed down through generations for Bolognese sauce and it needn’t be improved. It does however, take talented chefs to make it great, and the Dirty Fences are gastronauts!

-Will Robinson

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