Hillbilly Moon Explosion + Dick Dynamite & The Doppelgangers
Monday 16th May 2016
The Borderline, London
You must have seen that Toyota Advert featuring Primal Scream and 'Movin On Up'? The one with the audience going wild as the band rock out on stage playing with their cellos and double bass? We're challenged to "redefine fun" and "it's time to reinvent tradition". The irony was not lost on me as Dick Dynamite strolled on to the Borderline stage last Monday with his double bass in tow - supported by his Doppelgängers - namely Loz Hawkins on guitar and Aitor 'Sleepy' Gonzales on drums. Their frenetic delivery was very much in line with their Facebook profile "sociopathic bastards from a planet on the far side of the sun. Some say they play music, the truth is much more sinister..." but the intense Phsycobilly from the half-naked DD&TD's went down well with their home town crowd as they beat the s**t out of their last CD 'Dead Man Walking'. More like waking the dead but definitely redefining fun!
The suave Hillbilly Moon Explosion released their new album ‘With Monsters and Gods’ just three days before this one-off UK gig. THME’s last single 'My Love For Evermore' has become a phenomena with dozens of fans comparing tattoos on the band’s Facebook page with the songs inspiring at least 30 cover-versions and nearly seven million of views on Youtube! A half-English 4-piece hidden away in the unlikely habitat of Switzerland, they’ve honed their craft without distraction for many years. Searching for the right sound, they’ve previously recorded in San Diego, Camden and Tooting, but for this album they went back to the local Swiss studio where they made their early Rockabilly albums, allowing more time to get it spot on!
Well HME certainly not only demonstrated the Rock in Rockabilly but also the breadth of their Rock n' Roll with the lovely Emanuela Hutter on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Duncan James on lead guitar, Sylvain Petite on drums and Oliver Baroni on slap bass and lead vocals. Going with the genre territory, I pretty much showed my age explaining to my son that the HME gladiators entered the stage to The Tornados 'Telstar' which was appropriate as they ripped through a set list of over twenty songs in front of a packed crowd given it was a Monday night. Their following was not disappointed as they mixed it up obviously with new tracks from 'Monsters & Gods' including the title track, 'Heartbreak Boogie' and 'Midnight Blues' plus their old stuff such as the title track from 'Buy, Beg Or Steal' and the punkish 'Down On Your Needs' with Hutter on rhythm guitar.
But it's not just the quality of their music, but the charisma of the band that really makes the cogs in HME infectious with James' big white Gretsch (ooh Mrs.) purring on 'El Camino', Petite's drum solo on - you've guessed it - 'Let There Be Drums' (vive la France), Londoner Baroni's vocals on 'Dead Cat Boogie' rockin' his DB accordingly and the hypnotic Emanuela doing Debbie H proud on 'Call Me'. Stand out's on the night for mine were 'Temptation' - with Hutter appropriately in her Motorhead t-shirt/tight leather trousers and its 'Pulp Fictionish' intro, "Is he really going out with him" heralded 'Johnny Are You Gay' ('If I Had a Hammer' eat your heart out), the delightful tangoesque 'Natascia', 'My Love For Evermore' where Duncan stepped up to the plate for the first time on lead vocals, and the encore - OMD's Enola Gay - the ever-smiling James returning to his day job with a great guitar instrumental. What an explosive night - proof that it's time to reinvent tradition!