The Darts made a rare appearance in London on 24 May at the small Finsbury Pub venue in North London – the perfect place to warm up for a European tour. On this night, they were supported by The Priscillas and Suicide Generation, who are both on London’s Dirty Water Records, who’s motto is the appropriate “Taking Music Backwards into Tomorrow”.
To kick the evening off, we were entertained by Suicide Generation, who announced their set with, “We’re Suicide Generation and we’re shit”. Musically, that’s probably quite true.
They channeled early US punk/garage bands and slung their three-chord, five-stringed, songs at the crowd. The band’s front-man gave a memorable pastiche of Iggy in his hey-day, even writhing around on the floor in the front of the stage with his mic stuffed in his mouth.
Suicide Generation don’t seem to be taking this too seriously, or maybe they are. Feels like the return of some that good old punk ethos to me.
Next up were The Priscillas. The gig MC told us they’ve been around for ages, but are still only in their 20s (partially helped by line-up changes?). All women, they combined glam/psychedelia and garage together very well indeed.
Highlight of the set (for me) was a cover of Bowie‘s “Boys“. The audience were transfixed by their energetic Cramps-meets-New York Dolls mash up sound.
And I’m still wondering how Heidi Heelz managed to bend over backwards until she was lying on the floor whilst still churning out a thumping bass line. Hope to see them around for a lot more years to come.
The Darts (US) hail from Phoenix and LA, and this was the first gig they have played in Europe. The band is in essence a super-group made up of members of a number of other riot grrrl bands in US. Having sneaked in to watch their soundcheck, it was obvious that they were going to provide us with a fun night of B-Movie soundtrack-type material.
Later, the four of them came back to the stage still dressed in heavy black eye-liner and their slumber-ware (if such a word really exists). Time to wake up the audience. With bass, guitar, drums and vocals/keyboards, and a lot of swagger, they were perfectly set up to create a sound that was straight from a Russ Meyer movie.
Singer Nicole Laurenne jumped up and down, climbed on the bass drum (whilst still playing her Farsifa orga – quite an achievement) and pulled and pushed her instrument around the stage when she wasn’t mounting it. Michelle Balderrama on guitar looked like Tank Girl – her Darts branded knee high socks underneath a pair of DMs – rock poses and heavy riffs her weapon of choice. A super-tight rhythm section was provided by Christina Nunez on bass and Rikki Styxx on drums (is that her real name I wonder?) drove the psychedelic/garage sound forward. A band who doesn’t stand still and is going places – straight back to the 60s and fast forwarding through time.
The dark stage and back-lighting gave the sense of intimacy for this very entertaining gig (a photographer’s nightmare!). I was half expecting to see the likes of David Lynch, John Walters, or the cast of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! in the audience.
“Who are they? One might be your secretary, your doctor’s receptionist, or a dancer in a go-go club!”
- “Evil Wayz”
- “Cat’s Miaow”
- “Carry Me Home”
- “You Got Me”
- “Get You Off”
- “Take What I Need”
- “Strange Days”
- “She’s Gone”
- “I Want Your Fun”
- “Kiss of Fire
- “Rambling Stone”
For full sets of photos see https://www.jampondphotography.com/gigs
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