With previous line-ups which have included the likes of Mazes, Cheatahs and TOY, it is obvious that Sailor Jerry are able to put on a damn fine gig. Sure enough, their rum-filled, sold out night at the Victoria in Dalston was an unforgiving hedonistic indulgence.
First up were London-based three piece Shopping. Led by the fidgety Rachel Aggs, the trio put on stiff-necked (but incredibly dance-inducing) set made of fulminating guitar riffs and rich bass lines. The playfully schizoid act balanced their undeniable Post-Punk leanings with their own brilliant arrangement of Funk, throwing in antiseptic spoken-word and inscrutable mutterings.
Next in the ever-so-toasty sweat-box, was Theo Verney. Straight out of Brighton, Verney showcased his highly-distorted and rambunctious solo project together with the aid of two brazen faced band members. Verney’s own brand of virile, intense Rock takes cues from Americana soundscapes -psychedelically fuzzy and pubescent brash – thrashing away like there is no end in sight.
Finally, as the rum (literally) plastered the walls of the Vic’s fleshy alcove with its penetratingly sweet odour, the main act of the night, Fat White Family, lurched through the crowd. The six piece tightly fit on stage, with front man Lias Saoudi taking shape and devotees of one of those US Evangelical Preachers, Bolo tie and Cowboy hat included. Unhinged and lecherous, the band went from track to track with syrupy motions, disrobing, crotch-grabbing, sweating away and compelling the crowd to all types of almost religious fits. Whether it was well-groomed men taking an innate desire to fight into a slugging, fumbling mosh pit, or it was front-row ladies mutating into uncontrollable banshees – all head spinning and doe-eyed – Saoudi and the dishevelled band had entranced the whole lot of them.
The dismembered, exotic-flavoured setlist – a constant, droning, litany of Psych Rock – went from the bopping “Special Ape”, to the aptly named “I Am Mark E Smith”, through to the collective bacchanal of “Touch The Leather”. The craving for something so gritty, sleazy and disorienting – à la Pink Room in “Twin Peaks” – is what was left in the bowels of the crowd of such a fiendish spectacle.
Photo courtesy of C. Faruolo.