Friday, September 26, 2014

Slaughter & the Dogs @ Grand Victory

Slaughter & the Dogs; The Stalkers; The 45 Adapters
@ Grand Victory
September 25, 2014

Ten years ago a friend with the exact same name as a star of Beverly Hills 90210 gave me a punk compilation cd. At the time I didn't dig any of it except one song - "Situations" by Slaughter & the Dogs. I played it over and over. I still play it over and over. 10 years running and I still play it like I just got into it. But I wasn't ready for the rest of it back then, after I picked up Cranked Up Really High. Then in the last year or two  - with a more expanded palate - I gave it all another shot and brother was it something.

A lot of that something was at hand with Barrett and the boys at the glossy shithole that is the Grand Victory. In addition to one of the greatest songs of all time (Top 5?), we heard "Hell in New York", "You're a Bore", "We Don't Care" (I think...), their twin covers of VU - a groovy version of "Waiting for the Man" (interrupted by Barrett's fury at someone in the front who had to be removed, someone who turned out to be a nerd girl, god knows what she did) and the nearly-as-good-as-"Situations" blast of "White Light White Heat", "Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone?" and "Cranked Up Really High" (which I like now). As expected, the band was full on intense - loud, raucous, but with the discipline of age.

I almost wondered if they were some other band because the crowd was too busy chatting away with itself well into the set - so maybe no one realized what the band looked like these days and the first couple songs were not immediately recognizable. It took about 3 songs before the crowd started singing along, confirming we had the Manchester guys in front of us.

I try not to write about crowd behavior anymore and it's been a pretty good run of late but a word here about the choices one had in the cramped, narrow club that outdoes CBGB in the "bathroom behind the Stage" department (right next to the band's equipment!). If one was up to it, they could involve themselves in the mosh pit/slam dance/crowd surf/stage dive/other chaost at the front (some of it made sense, some of it did not - hence that expulsion?). If not, then it was back at the bar where people would not shut up and even tried to scream over the music which was stifled back there anyway (presumably these people were let in for free because there was no way they would have paid $25 just to chat inanely about themselves and think it cute they donned leather and denim and Betty Page do's right? Right? No one has that kind of disposable income to waste that way right? right?)

Anyway - I think the other bands I saw were listed on the bill in proper order - so I assume the penultimate band was the Stalkers. They were a proudly thorough tribute to old punk (especially the 50's and 60's girl group and pop group influenced kind) and power pop gone to hell (great cover of Brian Eno's "Needle in the Camel's Eye") but there was a very annoying shtick to this band - namely the lead singer was not very good - not so much at singing but more at presentation. The old "I'm a really big fat man so it's fun when I do these things (say inane bullshit, smoke a joint on stage, spit on the stage, show my body, etc)" routine.

I caught a little bit of the 45 Adapters and liked most of what I heard but didn't see much because I had no idea the lead singer was in the crowd. It sounded like it was supposed to be manic and yet a tad melodic - which is a good way to go.


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