Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Glamchops / Shrag / Ted Chippington – 11 October 2008, Buffalo Bar

We are teetering upon the horns of a dilemma. After a hard day’s graft, dealing with ridiculous people, it’s nice to relax by going to see a ridiculous band. But which one? On the one hand there’s The New Royal Family, on t’other there’s a Guided Missile night (ridiculous in and of itself) featuring Glamchops. In the end we ‘plump’ for Glamchops as a) we’ve yet to see them live, b) we prefer the Buffalo Bar to The Fly (where NRF are playing) and c) Shrag are supporting.

Shrag are aces – we discovered this at Indietracks and are keen to experience further aceness. Tonight they show they have a knack for indecently infectious pop tunes, ramshackling their way through a poptastically energetic set of squealingly exhilarating songs. ‘Ghosts Before Breakfast’ has a muscular, Fallish guitar crankiness that makes for jittery danceability, ‘Long Term Monster’ is a rackety rush replete with squiggly noises. The magnifique ‘Talk to the Left’, is interpreted in dance by The Panther Girls, catsuited up and clawing at the crowd. In yer face and fabulously catchy.

Before this popart explosion we get Ted Chippington. I know of Mr Chippington due to John Peel’s penchant for playing his deadpan renderings in the late eighties, and because of ‘The Vindaloo Summer Special’ a record upon which The Nightingales and We’ve Gotta Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use it joined Ted in performing the very silly ‘Rockin' With Rita (Head To Toe)’. It seemed brilliant when I bought it (1986). Guided Missile have winkled Ted out from somewhere (Torquay) to open the night with his ‘comedy’. This consists of him talking in non-sequiturs about his neighbours and stuff. He tells anti-jokes with no punch-lines in a weary, irritable manner. People shuffle nervously. It’s a bit scary. Then he grumpily ‘sings’ a couple of songs accompanied by a sort of mini-me John Cooper-Clarke on guitar and a drunk drummer. Odd.

And so to The Glam Chops, an unholy conglomeration of familiar faces reviving the ignoble art of glam rock. On drums it’s Stuffy of …and The Fuses ‘fame’, Tim Purr plays guitar and is the glam-meister of the band, also on guitar there’s David Devant (yes!) in a marvellous glitter catsuit and big hair. Paul Guided Missile himself is on bass. Honking and chirping away on sax and looking like he hasn’t realised it isn’t 1974 Arec is resplendently adorned with a dinner plate, knife and fork painted onto his forehead. Possibly the most familiar Glam Chop (to tha kidz anyway) is Eddie Argos who is leading the whole shebang with his rowdy singing, costume changing and general arsing about in a glam style.

Together, The Glam Chops blast merrily through a heap of songs that are chocka with glammy goodness: bits of Bolan ‘n’ Bowie, Slade and The Sweet and er ‘Spirit In The Sky’. My favourite is the one David Devant sings. Sort of like a crooning Alvin Stardust. But it’s all finger-pointingly, air-punchingly triumphant. Throughout, The Panther Girls boogie and high kick – they’ll have someone’s eye out like that! The final song sees Eddie mingling with the crowd, thanking everyone individually for coming. An appropriately communal ending to this big glittery ball of joyousness. Don’t be glum be glam!

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