|The Hip Priests/Bitch Queens/Scumbag Millionaire/Flash House - Abertillery, Doll’s House – 15 April 2017|
|Written by Nev Brooks|
|Thursday, 20 April 2017 04:00|
What a way to spend a Saturday nite, four of the hottest bands in the underground all playing together and less than ten minutes from home and less than a £5! I mean, “if Carlsberg did gigs” I couldn’t see it getting any better. Just a shame that the size of the crowd didn’t match my enthusiasm - but when you look at what was happening locally, and all within an hour of yours truly: you had The Rock and Roll Circus bash with Crowsaw/Lifer et al just five minutes further away; you had Johnny Cage tearing up Clwb Ifor Bach with Bombskare; you had the Tony Visconti/Woody Woodmansy Holy Holy Project playing Ziggy and the Spiders from Mars in its entirety. And that’s without the gigs going on in LePub and The Dragonffli: I mean there’s only so many punters to go around… was it actually the success of live music, bad planning/co-ordination or the ubiquitous cover bands playing throughout the valleys that caused tonight’s turnout?
Never mind, whatever the reason, yet again I have a gig that's going to be nudging the gig of the year come the end of the year listings.
First up, Flash House I had heard nothing from and went in with an open mind: all I had from statto himself, Johnny H, was a warning for me not to miss. Coming straight out of London town, they’re grounded in the rock and roll influences but stood out as very different to the other bands tonight: heavy, fast and intense but with an almost old school/new metal mixed up underpinning, they were great hinting at Venom at their most ferocious but scuzzed up, even dropping into some real classic old school metal riffage at times. A cracking start to the nite.
Next up a band that I had heard plenty about, Scumbag Millionaire, across to this side of the pond from Gothenberg Sweden, just for this run of dates. Real high energy garage punk, just the way we like it: think Hellacopters/Turbonegro (even throwing a Turbonegro cover into the set) cool as fuck and potentially the stand out band of the nite (at least in my mind while they were playing) - until the Bitch Queens hit the stage and proceeded to tear the Doll’s House a new one!
Now, these guys absolutely blew me away. I’ve played through quite a bit of the back catalogue on the Rock and Roll Circus radio show, but live it moved up about ten gears; tracks like ‘Gimme A Kiss’ and ‘Lick It Like You Like It’ just hit you full on in the face, both bouncing around my brain still as I write this review fully two days later… what a performance.
Settling down and taking a breath before the last band standing, my thoughts were “how is that going to be topped”, foolishly wondering if the night had actually peaked a bit early: how wrong could I have been?
It’s only been a year since I last saw The Hip Priests: I’ve seen them in all sorts of places, with all sorts of line ups, playing all sorts of sets, but tonight I think shows me not just how far they’ve moved on but how quickly that upwards trajectory is moving. This is a band that demands attention: imagine the most spoilt, maladjusted child and you wouldn’t even come close… Why they haven’t moved on to the next level is a complete mystery: they have the image, the sound and in Nathan, the consumate frontman, they kicked some fucking ass tonight, ‘Motherfucker Superior’ setting the tone, with other stand-outs being ‘Sonic Reproducer’ and the set closer ‘Jesus Died’ (it was Easter weekend after all).
But, in fairness the whole set stood out, and I could have picked other tracks to illustrate the point; so, after all the dust settled, what did we have? Just the fact that the underground might not remain in the underground for much longer, that doors going to come crashing down with The Hip Priests riding through on a wave of drunken debauchery.
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