Support: Pirates of Panama / Kinkade
Since seeing the videos for Bathroom Wall and You're So Vain on 'Headbangers Ball' in the late 80's (ah Vanessa Warwick I remember you well) I knew Faster Pussycat were a band for me. The voice, the style and the swagger. Tonight I finally got to see them live at Camden's Underworld.
Normally when you turn up for a gig at 8.30 you expect a large enough crowd to be already present. Tonight though there were just a few people on the floor to see the main support band. After joining these three hardy souls I tried hard to not look too uncomfortable and self conscious (not easy in such circumstances). The hands in the pockets, the shuffle of the feet, the tapping of the one foot...very hard to look cool. Despite my discomfort and despite the band playing to such a small crowd (which grew larger and larger as the set went on) I was hugely impressed with Pirates of Panama. The enthusiasm of lead singer Louis Collins (wasn't he in the Professionals?) was especially noticeable. As a band they could easily have been disheartened by the lack of numbers but as it was they threw everything into their set. Their debut EP The Chase is out now...
As more and more people joined me on the floor I began to realise that wearing blue jeans and sensible shoes to a Faster Pussycat gig means you are going to stand out like a Shaking Stevens tribute act at a, well, a Faster Pussycat gig. I made sure to lean against the pole in the middle of the floor to restrict my Shaky moves which came in handy as the gig started...I really am getting to be a lazy bastard. Actually I may have invented a new move....moshing while still leaning against the pole. Not easy to do actually.
At 9.45 Pussycat took the stage to a much healthier but still disappointingly sized crowd (the late notice of the gig didn't help numbers). What we lacked in size we sure as hell made up for in noise though and I have to mention the Scottish lads at the front who Taime Downe took great delight in all night. Getting selfies talking with a lead singer of a band during their biggest song doesn't always go down well but as Taime sat to sing House of Pain he embraced them with open arms...even if he couldn't understand a word they said. It certainly helped him and the band get through their jet lag having slept only a few hours in the last few days (they should have serious words with their tour manager...or hire one).
I saw Tom Kiefer a few weeks ago at the O2 Academy in Islington and like that gig, tonight I got to hear some classic 80's rock songs. Like Cinderella, Faster Pussycat always had that bit more about them than many of their contemporaries. Listening to Slip of the Tongue, Cathouse and Bathroom Wall brought back many a good memory. The latter was interlaced with a couple of excellent covers sung by guitarists Ace Von Johnson and Danny Nordahl before they finished up in style with Shut Up and Fuck.
Footnote: Apologies for the following blokey comment but why so many beautiful women at a Faster Pussycat gig? Most of the shows I go to these days are of other bands that have been around for thirty years (has any music been released since 1995?). Usually the average audience member is very much like me...a balding, beer bellied bloke with the dress sense of a nat. Not so here...not that I was complaining. Maybe they knew I would be there. I like to think so anyway.
Ticket: November 11th 2015
Ticket Price: £15.00