Concert Reviews

Junkyard / Spread Eagle / Shark Island / Fiascos http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/78/da/66/junkyard-live-thumb-100-1505156114.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 11, 2017    
 
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Junkyard / Spread Eagle / Shark Island / Fiascos - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 25 August 2017

It's Friday, 25th of August, in a lazy, chilly, definitely non-summer evening in Camden Town, though ladies are getting hot and loud for the usual girl's night out, all shortly-dressed up (thanks God for keeping up a lil' bit of temperature, at least), and there's a sign – just as you come outside of Camden Town tube station – that says "Junkyard/Spread Eagle", hanging from the Underworld. And according to weird rumours, there's even Shark Island in the bunch! C'mon, are you funkin' serious?! No, I still can't believe this! This is the Underworld in London 2017, not the Whisky Go Go or the CBGB in 1989. This must be the wettest and craziest dream of my teenage days, when I used to wear snakeskin cowboy boots, torn out jeans, tons of tin bracelets up to my elbows, long hair down to my ass and used to buy these greasy LP's from second hand stores. However, Sleaziness is not something you can easily remove from your soul, it's more than a coffee stain on your white shirt, it's something you bring with you for the rest of your life, like a remote handful of humbleness and a warm veracity that never vanishes.

I attended this concert with a friend of mine, an underground movie director, who is a fanatic of the film 'The Warriors'. I just told him, "Spread Eagle could have featured in the soundtrack of that movie, if only they were born ten years earlier" and convinced him right away. The was one of the reasons I had to go there tonight... because of Spread Eagle. I mean, if you were raised on Street Metal and Guns N' Roses, this NY-based gang just ranks right there among the masterminds of the genre. Their debut is one of the most adrenaline-fuelled, fiercest, rebellious, hardcore Rock 'n' Roll albums that ever existed in the history of music and if media failed in overlooking them, it was just because there was too much on offer and in abundance back in those days. I can't find any other plausible excuse. Ray West and Rob De Luca (also a UFO member) are the only original members left, but the newcomers Rick De Luca (drummer and Rob's relative) and young guitarist Ziv Shalev surely coped with the live reputation of the band. 'King Of The Dogs' was transformed into a hardcore Thrash Metal monster, so was 'Devil's Road', which I've never listened to in such a brutal version. West still knew how to scratch and, by the way, 'Scratch Like A Cat' and 'Back On The Bitch' delivered a fury that represented a generation of Rockers that luckily were raised on the streets and not on some lame TV talent show. That's why music will not have a 'Switchblade Serenade' anymore, stuck as it is nowadays on some phony puppets pretending to be toughest guys in the hood. Not to mention the street anthem 'Broken City, with its dramatic crescendo and its heavy Blues destructive structure, which materially tore the Underworld down.

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Junkyard was the other main attraction tonight, and though singer David Roach, bassist Todd Muscat and drummer Pat Muzingo stood out as the survivors from the early formation, it was nice to see and, above all, listen to Jimmy James on guitar (who used to play with other cult acts as Rock City Angels and The Hangmen) and Tim Mosher on the other guitar. These guys did such a terrific job and together with the Punkish rhythm section by Muscat and Muzingo, you really had the definition of "Motörhead meets ZZ Top" in concrete! Yes, indeed, because Junkyard really sounded and made you feel like you're attending a good, old-school, sweaty Punk 'n' Roll rock gig and, for the record, this was the first concert in a long time where I could barely see any cameras and smart phones up in the air and instead people just enjoyed and enjoyed being part of the show. On the other hand, these guys also own that peculiar retro-Texan, slidin' Boogie-Woogie added to their melodic inclination that is attached to the rockers of their generation. So there you go, simply banged in your face were the likes of 'Blooze', 'Life Sentence' and 'Misery Loves Company', with those greasy, oily riffs still distorted as fuck where Mosher and James intersected so nicely. As for Roach, yes sir, I could still see the eye of the tiger from where I was in the front row. This bad boy hadn't changed a bit and the way he attacked the microphone and got the audience involved in the show was priceless.

As for Shark Island, their show was pretty much under tone, compared to the main acts, but Richard Black is still in shape and his voice still managed to give the chills of the legend he is. Same with the local Fiascos, who did all they could to entertain and prepare the Underworld for these unlucky, uncompromised, untameable Rock 'n' Roll rebels.

Enrico Navella

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