What’s more exciting than going to see Robin Black on their first UK tour in over two years? Going to see Robin Black on their first UK tour in over two years… Twice. That’s right!
The tour kicked off on Friday April 7th, at Nottingham’s Junktion 7, which, as I discovered that night, is a great venue. –Not too small, not too big, and the bar is the length of the room! From the word go, the place was heaving with rockers of all varieties, some blatantly hardcore RB fans, some relative newcomers (like myself).
Stepping from the street into the venue was like switching realms, cool night air to hot hub of electricity.
The crowd; a cocktail of weird, wonderful, gay, straight, English, Australian (and that’s just the handful of people that I spoke to) were a friendly bunch who just wanted to rock. And rock, they did.
Zen Motel opened the show with a virtuous set. The best performance I’ve seen from them yet. Though I am usually stuck riiiiight at the back of Stoke’s Sugarmill, avoiding those who find it necessary to beat themselves and one another to a pulp whilst the band provides their soundtrack. This time, however, I was front row, in a much more civil (but no less enthusiastic) audience, which was rather nice. The place seemed to glow, the band resplendent in the glare. Zen Motel are nice guys what play good, solid, likeable rock. Their crowd pleaser is an infectious number with a compelling rhythm, known to one and all as ‘The Devil Song’. Live performance of this one traditionally involves two boisterous audience members being hand picked and welcomed to the stage to help sing the chorus. Tradition was upheld at this gig, and two enthusiastic fans took to the stage and sung their hearts out. It was a wonderful moment. Long may Zen Motel reign. They did themselves proud and it was a shame their set had to end, but Disarm were soon to follow and having discovered them via the mighty networking tool that is MySpace, several months previously, I knew I liked their sound and was looking forward to seeing them in action. Their loud, raucous, high-speed performance did not disappoint.
They’re sleaze rock with a tinge of punk.
They abuse your eardrums and make you want more.
They were a great choice of tour support for Robin Black!
By now even the building was beginning to sweat, and by the time Robin Black hit the stage, the assemblage were gagging for ‘em. And what can I say? They played like mother effers and rocked the place to its rafters.
Robin was clearly born to be the frontman in a filthy rock band. He has stage presence. He works the crowd. He bounces off his bandmates (and shares info about their sexual habits). He radiates an air of untouchable cool… but somehow you know he’d be your best friend if you just bought him a beer!
Whilst the whole set had the entire room shakin’ its collective ass, highlights for me, were; Over You and Shoot ‘Em Up Now. The latter will forever remind me of donning some of my best moves with my friend-for-the-evening by the side of the stage, boy did we put the masses to shame with our grooves!
Despite a few technical glitches throughout the night, to the slight dismay of the bands, the night was brilliant all-round. The atmosphere kept its neon buzz for the entirety and I was so bewitched by Robin and his crew that I just had to go back for more when they played at Crewe’s Limelight, a few days later. And I’m so glad I did. Having expected a club as crammed as Junktion 7, I was surprised at the minimalist turn-out, but the small crowd that there was made ample noise, and it only seemed to serve to push Robin to play harder. The collective mood was just as lively as the Nottingham gig, but much more ‘intimate’. Many more references were made to Starboy’s sucking predilections, and the street-teamers were treated to a fair bit of sweat, which Robin lovingly scooped from deep within the murky depths of his pants and flicked their way, at various intervals. Lovely.