Robin Black Rockin’ The UK

by Louise

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.

Robin Black

by LouisePurveyors of some of the catchiest rock tunes ever, Robin Black combine sleaze, leather, leopard print, blue hair, make-up, and of course, masses of talent to create something vibrant and raucous and shimmering with brilliance. And they have a real rock n roll attitude and a loyal fan-base to complete the package.

Robin’s half beautiful half beautifully gritty voice is superb, somewhat spine-tingling, even, in the mighty “Better Off That Way”, which is just one of a whole album full of instant classics. Incidentally, the album is called ‘Instant Classic’, how convenient.

As their impending UK tour draws ever closer, Mr. Black was kind enough to answer a few pre-tour probing questions for Optimum Impact…

How are you?
Thirsty. Can’t wait to get to the UK, have some Lager, and rock.

What has the band been up to since you were last in the UK?
We released INSTANT CLASSIC, our greatest album to date, in Canada and
toured the whole beast, bringing vicious, honest, rock and roll to
Canadians. Now we’re gonna slay the Brits with The Rock.
We’ve also drunk thousands of beers, and excited tens of thousands of babes.
Ky smoked all the pot. Life is good.

Are you looking forward to touring the UK again?
Man, this will be our FOURTH tour of the UK. And it will be our biggest yet.
And the best.
The crowds LOVE their rock, and we are the best there is at it. The Lager
flows plentifully. The venues treat us great. And we will treat you all to
the party of your lives.

Are there any particular gigs/venues you’re looking forward to playing?
We have really LOVED playing there before. The Limelight in Crewe was
awesome, JB’s in Dudley has been GREAT for us, and they have always
treated us well. A couple of our most memorable shows have been there. I
have a scar to prove it.
Bradford Rio’s is a great club. Junktion 7 in Nottingham is an AWESOME
party, and Nottingham has become like a home town gig for us. We start the
tour there, and have our wrap party there, where Kidd and Creep and I will
get WASTED and watch Ky and Starboy do an acoustic gig. Fun. If we’re not
too annihilated, we may all do a short set there, with some special guests.
I’m personally REALLY looking forward to The Camden Underworld. I love
London, love the crowd there, and I hear that it is selling out FAST, and
they are throwing a kick assed after party for us. You’re all invited.
There’s a couple of new towns for us on this tour, and we wanna slay those
dragons too.
Fuck, this whole tour is gonna rock.

Do you have a favourite song to play live?
All of our songs kick ass, live. All of ‘em. All killer, no…….you get
the picture, bitches.

Will we be treated to fancy pyrotechnics on the tour?
In your pants.

You pride yourselves on being ‘different’, how much has that
helped/hindered your rise to rockstar status?

Ya know, different is just a way of life for us. And for our fans.
We represent all the outcasts out there, all the rebels, all the
individuals. Some seasons it’s “in” to be different, some seasons you are
considered a freak. We don’t give a fuck. And neither should you. Do your
thing. Be yourself.

How old were you when you knew you had to be a rockstar?
I’ve never wanted to do anything else. When I could speak(ish), I started
putting on little shows for my neighbours.
Everybody should just do what they dream of doing. The world would be a much
better place.

What’s the most rock n roll thing you’ve ever done?
Seriously, although we DO think it’s cool to be naked, covered in
blood and vodka and drugs with naked chicks everywhere, and we HAVE done
that and worse (better), and will do it again, undoubtedly on this tour,
that’s not what rock and roll is. That’s cartoon rock and roll and, yes,
it’s fun as hell.
That 50 year old couple who blows off work, gets a babysitter for the kids,
breaks out their old leathers to come to the Robin Black show and fucking
LOSE IT are rock and roll. That chick who follows her dream and makes
sacrifices to continue following her dreams is rock and roll. That guy
sitting at home, right now, smoking a joint, writing a song on his shitty
old guitar is rock and roll. The young dude looking for answers in an
Aerosmith record is rock and roll. That old guy down the street who cranks
his old records and refuses to cut his hair is rock and roll. You are ALL
rock and roll. And we’ll lead your party.

If you were a super-hero which would you be?
Robin Black

If you were to be left on a desert island & could only keep three things,
what would they be?

My band, an audience, and my girl.

Do you have any goals/hopes for 2006?
The number one priority now is to KICK ASS all over the UK. Find a label
in Europe for INSTANT CLASSIC. We are already looking at trying to return
to the UK around August for another tour because you’ll all already
be desperate for more.

Any final thoughts to leave us with?
Come see this beast live. We will give you everything we have,
everything you need.
We can’t wait to see ya all………………….

Catch Robin Black & co in the UK in April.