Devilskin + Sumo Cyco + Eva Plays Dead
Wednesday 22nd March
The Underworld, Camden, London
An eventful night in the nations capital city saw yours truly back at the premier gig venue in Camden, the subterranean Underworld, to see a night of Punk Metal mayhem. Three bands from three separate continents, they all have a similar form. Sexily attired female fronted power backed by scary chugging Punk dynamos. Real Beauty and the Beast stuff.
Openers Eva Plays Dead are a British Rock band from the Nottingham/Derby area. Fronted by boss-lady Tiggy Dockerty and her Punk tinged vocals they quote Aerosmith, Black Flag and Heaven's Basement as their influences amongst others. I'm liking them already. Prancing around stage like a demented Betty Boop, ironically wearing a 'Cute As' t-shirt, Tiggy is a great front of stage artist with attitude, wiggling what she's got, enticing the crowd, and with fine vocal skills too. Guitarist Matt Gascoyne played a fine game of pedal stamping as he ground out some great Rock sounds on his Les Paul Standard and Fender Telecaster through a Marshall Amp whilst bass duties were skilfully discharged by Zach Shannon. Many bands like to interact with their audience, especially at intimate venues like the Underworld. It's rare that the drummer, Seb Boyse in this instance, do so. I think this is the first time I have seen a drummer set up a small drum kit in the middle of the audience and play the final song Monogamy in the round surrounded by applauding fans. Great fun. Even more fun seeing him trying to get his kit back on stage afterwards.
Eva plays dead Setlist:
Sumo Cyco are a Punk Metal band from Toronto, Canada. Lead singer Sever (formerly solo artist: Skye Sweetnam) is an achingly pretty provocateur whose attire doesn't leave much to the imagination. The girl next door, if you live near Anne Summers. And who during the course of a hot and heavy night was in competition with the drummer to strip down to wear the least amount of clothing. Compulsive viewing that I can attest to. If you want to see who wins, go see them for yourself. Lead guitarist Matt 'MD' Drake (Dodger) is an excellent musician, much unlike many Punk bands, gleaning some fantastic sounds from his white triple humbucker Epiphone SG through a Mesa Rectifier. And supporting with heavy bass tones is Ken Thor Corke on bass guitar. Full of vigour, both Sever and Dodger whirl like dervishes on stage with 360 pirouettes only just avoiding each other like battling tops of old. This is good quality Rock with a hard Punk edge but with some catchy rhythms too. Hints of System of a Down and Black Label Society pervade. The crowd love them, 'Cry Murder' is a clear crowd favourite. Not to be outdone by Eva Plays Dead, Sever wades into the crowd on Dodgers shoulders to sing 'Fighter' along with an audience warming even more to the Canadians. She then dismounts and urges the crowd to get down low on the floor with her then jump up for joy as she launches into 'Mountains'. The set ends with her being lifted bodily by the crowd and carried back to the stage with every male hand only too eager to assist. Funny that. Great set. Great band.
Sumo Cyco Setlist:
Go Go Go
My Name Is Rock 'N' Roll
Crowd Control (Do What We Want)
Devilskin are back at the Underworld again - I saw them there last year with the excellent Skarlett Riot in support. Devilskin is a four-piece Alternative Metal band from Hamilton, New Zealand, formed in June 2010. And it would appear that at least half of the audience are fellow Kiwi's following their homeys around the globe. I would if I were a Kiwi. Fronted by the black leather clad Jennie Skulander, Jennie has a powerful voice that ranges from whispers to full bellowing roar. Yes she's beautiful, yes she's dressed like a sexy dominatrix, but it's the voice you notice first. Sporting red beards Nail (lead guitar) and Paul Martin (bass, backing vocals) provide the power and the melody behind the vocal delights of Skulander whilst Paul's son Nic Martin excels on the drums. Nail, playing a Gibson Les Paul through twin Marshal JTM stacks, won fame in NZ playing lead for the popular Waikato band Chuganaut who won the NZ Battle of the Bands and the World Battle Of The Bands in 2004.
The set was excellent. Standing centre stage manipulating the audience JS works the adoring crowd. Ironically singing "I will be dressed in black" whilst bedecked in nothing but black, her voice powerfully proclaimed the opening track to their latest album as another must listen to album. 'House 13' is proper Metal riffing material with some great thumping drum beats - take a bow Martin Jnr. 'Voices' is another release from their 2016 album 'Be Like The River' with a more melodic edge that is a singalong classic in the making whilst 'Mountains' shows the harder rapid firing beat. An interesting inclusion is their cover of Heart's 'Barracuda'. Done Devilskin style, this is a great cover version of a great Rock track. And if you like your singalong tracks, 'Until You Bleed' is none too shabby. The set was rounded off with the superb 'Little Pills' - I am sure I will be reaching for mine to stop the pounding in my head. Although if it removes the smile from my face, I might just give them a miss. Devilskin are a class act and, for one night at least, Camden's Underworld was a little piece of Aotearoa. Can we have it back please?
Start A Revolution
Until You Bleed
Never See The Light