Electric Six: Islington Academy
A disappointing absence of the annual Welsh date for the Detroit powerhouse that is Electric Six was turned into an excellent opportunity for a weekend visiting friends in London whilst also managing to ensure that we were able to catch the irrepressible Dick Valentine and his cohorts.
Electric Six are best viewed when well on the road to destination “bladdered” and this year was no exception. I've described this venue before; located in North London it is an 800 capacity and it was very close to capacity as Dick and the boys took the stage for 70 minutes (inclusive of encore!) of their tongue in cheek rock infused rock with disco, funk and a dash of new wave thrown in for good measure. Kicking off with Karate Lips from their excellent 2014 Human Zoo release, Electric Six were in fine form, with Mr Valentine stalking the stage, wisecracks and deadpan delivery after every song. If you've never seen these boys live you really need to sort it out as there is something for everyone. The band delivered tracks from nine albums, including some of their lesser known stuff along with four tracks from the new album. As you would expect, the older “classics” always provoke the most vigorous reaction and Gay Bar part 1 and part 2 incited parts of the crowd to deliver some rather dodgy shapes whilst spilling Hobgoblin all over themselves! She's White was rabidly received with the guitar riffs strong enough to please the metal loving elements of the audience. New track It's Horseshit prompted a smashing sing-along whilst Improper Dancing was exactly what it said on the tin!
The focus of the band is always on Valentine whilst the rest of the group remain firmly in the background; however, they are all fantastic musicians, whether it is the White Wolf on guitar cranking out the riff to Danger! High Voltage, “My drummer” pounding the rhythm to the disco funk irreverence of Adam Levine or the smooth keys of new wave infused Synthesiser. Added together they produce a heady mix which absolutely screams for a balls-out good time, something lost on a few members of the audience near us who complained about our dancing; “She’s bumped into me five times”. Unsurprisingly, the shortest of shrift was supplied and they wisely moved out of our way. The majority of the audience were quite happy to lose their shit, especially as set closer and firm favourite I Buy the Drugs swept all before it. What a song. Epic shapes thrown all around.
A raucous evening was brought to an end in fine style with the infectious Dance Commander providing the opportunity for some final brutal riffs to encourage a last boogie. As always, the band delivered a fine set, oozing with quality and fine musicianship. This band don’t take themselves seriously but are always serious about delivering a good performance. Roll on December 2015 … in South Wales this time lads please. 9/10