ROBOTS & ELECTRONIC BRAINS

Groop Dogdrill @ Camden Underworld, London (27th April 2000)

What can I say? I've been berated by the guardians of indie cool for going to see Groop Dogdrill because they are allegedly 'a bunch of arse'. I, however, am of a humble opinion that everyone needs an occasional slab of dumb-ass punk rock and an evening of, as Mr Spiby so eloquently put it last night, Northern grit (that's GRIT).

Opening up with a sonic assault of "Simian Kind," I am afraid Groop Dogdrill do indeed rock like a proverbial motherfucker. With devil signs and tattoos. Brothel creepers and piercings being an optional extra. This is the kind of rock where guitars are slung low, the tee shirts inevitably come off, the sweat pours and stage-diving is encouraged. What more do you want? Intelligence? Naaah, this is not a brain thing. This comes from somewhere between the heart and the groin. This could be the soundtrack to the best fuck of your life.

The set consists mainly of songs from "Every Six Seconds," peaking at the bluesy swagger of "Best Sex in Texas," tonight renamed "Best Sex in Camden" (where? who?) and "Angel Wings." It's tight, it's loud and it looks good. The stage is not big enough for Damo, he moves around in a restless, threatening way, living up to his reputation of being 'ard, like. He is a perfect foil for Pete's intense glare. (Mind you, Pete's got himself a beer belly, so it's kind of hard to take him seriously. Sort it out mate.)

The really impressive moments, however, are still those from "Half Nelson": the furious mosh pit that erupts for "Gracelands," the faster, tighter and dumber "Lovely Skin," the microphone gaffa-taped to Pete's mouth during "That Texaco Feeling" and finally the indelible image of topless tattooed Damo gyrating on top of an amp before the sheer madness of the "Oily Rag" finish kicks in. They pause in the middle of it to make us chant Saxon's "This town knows how to rock" before proceeding to a noisy ending.

It was a reminder that the 'Drill don't need to evolve into anything, there is no need to 'move on'. All we want are more fast songs about drinking and sex. That is when they sound exceptional.

No encores, no bullshit, they hate us and we love them. (Radiant Kovacs)


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