15 March 2019 (gig)
18 March 2019
Back in the late eighties I certainly considered myself a fan of Crazyhead but I can’t say I have any recollection of ever catching them live in their pomp and my vinyl copy of 'Desert Orchid' was in mint condition when I dusted it off earlier this week. I’d also forgotten what a cracking album it really was but by the time I made it to The Islington I had 'Time Has Taken Its Toll On Me' ringing in my ears.
First up I was treated to The Charlemagnes who I'd only just recently caught live a few hundred metres further down Upper Street. With a long back history but with no original members left in the band, the current line-up of The Charlemagnes has stayed loyal to its East Coast garage rock ancestry. They took to their set with a no-nonsense approach, rarely stopping for chit chat as they delivered tracks from recently released lp, 'Three Chords and A Half Truth'. Without their usual sax player, the mercurial guitar work from the ex-Senseless Things axe man stood out in a typically fast paced performance. Highlights were definitely the upbeat 'Anthem For Groomed Youth' and new single 'Hot For Crime' and they finished to appreciative applause with 'Pay Day'.
Crazyhead then took to the stage and ripped immediately into the first three numbers from the legendary 'Desert Orchid'.
Looks wise the band are an eclectic and flamboyant bunch. They're led by the long flowing bleach blond locks of tattooed vocalist, Anderson, whose energy contrasts with the more purposeful demeanour of original guitarist, Kev Reverb, donned all in black including top hat. Behind them bass legend, Porkbeast, digs away at his basslines with supreme confidence, legs akimbo and wearing sports a cap with the simple inscription 'GOD'. Lead guitarist Peter Creed and original drummer Vom provide a more laid back cool to the overall band image.
Crazyhead have a unique garage punk rock sound and deliver a blistering live show. They make their way through most of the 'Desert Orchid' album and the venue reaches fever pitch during the unforgettable 'Baby Turpentine'. We're also teased with a couple of great new tunes which I look forward to hearing more of and the band leave on a rousing high with 'Have Love Will Travel' and 'Sinking Feeling'.
Crazyhead still have a lot to offer, they're tight, they still have the attitude and they still have the musical 'bollox'. It was great seeing them at The Islington although I hope they'll be playing bigger venues after this tour and the summer festivals they have planned. For dates, check the Crazyhead facebook page.