Enuff Z'nuff + Last Great Dreamers
Monday 2nd September 2019
The Underworld, Camden
Monday evenings are usually a glum post-work affair, so what better way to raise the spirits and head to the dark basement of a large pub for a gig at the Underworld? This is where Enuff Z'nuff come into their own. Seasoned and experienced as they are, they still know how to throw a party in the face of the jading effect of incessant touring.
Lead singer Chip Z'Nuff mentions, mid-set, the drummer, Daniel B. Hill tours with ZZ Top which is perfect for their opening numbers which have a ZZ feel. One wonders if the Z in Z'Nuff is tipping their hat to them. 'Metalheart' has the tempo of 'Gimme All your Lovin', with few chord changes it sets the tone as they power through the first four songs. 'Diamond Boy' is a glimpse of their newer material which moves along with Eddie Cochrane-like urgency. What sets them apart is their Psychedelia-infused vocals and harmonising on the latter part of their set like on 'Wheels' which serves as an anthem. Their version of Bowie's 'The Jean Genie' has a crunching guitar sound which - and blasphemy alert - tops the original in this reviewer's humble opinion.
Chip himself is an engaging large-than-life front man with a kitsch look, his hat and glasses resembling Elton John in his early seventies pomp. His constant banter with the crowd ensures the feel-good mood bubble along. He brags of his bass guitar belonging to the bassist of Cheap Trick who ran off with his ex-wife, but Chip got to keep his guitar - the better half of the exchange in his opinion! He goofs around with other members of the band: the lead guitarist Tory Stoffregen nonchalantly glugs on his bottle of beer (or more likely a large bottle of wine) whilst Chip does his fretwork and strumming for him from behind his back, whilst original co-founding guitarist, Alex Kane, goads the crowd. At one point the support act, Last Great Dreamers join the stage in the backing vocals.
The Last Great Dreamers have a very New Wave/Old Wave sound. They choose a set-list dominated by their 'Transmissions From Oblivion' album which has Brit-Pop stylings and very much in keeping with their Camden surroundings. 'Misunderstood' is their stand-out track for me and their set provides a lively, Punkish platform for the rest of the evening which turned out to be a Monday that was a remarkably happy one!
Ivan De Mello