By Nick Kuzmack (DJ Nix Beat)
This was a weekend like no other. Weirdsville/Dirty Water presented Londoners with the superb talents of Fryd Chikin, The Bucky Rage and The Jackets. For those uninitiated, travelling to Nambucca for this evening’s entertainment required the sheer determination to brave a night of temperatures dropping to bone chilling levels. Luckily, for the devout rock n’ rollers that lurk in the shadows, this club is constantly home to music that warms the soul… and drinks to dull the senses.
Like many gigs in London, this event lured a diverse crowd, representing multiple nationalities, that had come to speak the universal language of sinful sounds and nitty gritty beat inspired garage rock. Since Dirty Water sponsors the show, rock n’ roll merch was not in short supply. Like The Bucky Rage and The Jackets, Dirty Water came with their own healthy array of records. After some perusing it took a tremendous amount restraint not to take them up on their buy three 7” records for £12 deal.
Unfortunately, due to to self-preservation and breaking bread with Fryd Chikin – I regretfully missed most of the beginning of his act, as a result of wrapping up our tardy food bill. Upon re-entering Nambucca, I managed to catch a glimpse of the golden and tremendous spectacle of his set. I’m told I missed out on a great show, so I’ll be sure to skip the KFC next time and go for some authentic Fryd Chikin.
The changeover between Fryd Chikin and The Bucky Rage seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. Almost as quickly as a single track from a record. Sporting luchador masks The Bucky Rage took to the stage in front of an excited crowd. Their vocalist set the tone for the performance by telling the audience “I’ve got your addresses and I don’t mind fucking shit up.” These guys boast a heavy no-frills, hippy annihilating rock n’ roll sound. It’s catchy mover and stomper kind of stuff and invokes a nod toward music found within the grooves on the Back From The Grave compilations. The Bucky Rage are quite the sight live, and a must see act.
After a long intermission, The Jackets open up their set with ‘Keep Yourself Alive.’ Heavy fuzz and snarling riffs define this garage rocker set. They are instantly charismatic and waste no time in energizing their audience into jumping about in violent spasms. Guitarist and vocalist Jackie Brutsche fuels this display by prowling around the stage and seemingly bewitching her audience with growls and groans worthy of admiration from the late Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. It’s playful, yet primitive and is heightened by songs like ‘Be Myself,’ ‘Wasting My Time’ and ‘Wheels of Time’ – which is dedicated to The Schizophonics who managed to attend the show after playing earlier in the night with Rocket From The Crypt at The Electric Ballroom.
The Jackets are really something else. They capture a sound that is instantly recognizable, but not subject to the weight and limits of nostalgia. Songs like ‘Freak Out’ (my personal favourite) evoke the idea of rock n’ roll being fun and dangerous again. They make it raw and then refine it into garage rock for a new age of Beatle boot sporting outlaws. The Jackets conclude their set by playing their last note in harmony with the first note of the DJ’s following track.
Although the bands are done for the evening, the DJ’s spin garage and psych floor fillers for the rest of the night. Tracks like The Cherry Slush’s ‘I Cannot Stop You’ electrify the air and motivate the folks to shake and shimmy across the dance floor. The party finishes at about 3am, when the lights glow on. At which point venturing back into the cold becomes a necessity to find further festivities elsewhere.