After a week of freezing our titties off dealing with storm Emma, the prospect of being in the sold out Concorde2 to see Electric Six seemed totally appetizing. Fuck you broken boiler, we’re ready for a good mosh pit.
We make our way into the venue and one of the first things we’re greeted with is a dual action black dildo waved in front of us. No, this isn’t the merch table feeling fruity, but this fan’s personal weapon reminds me of the comical edge that underpins a lot of what I’ve come to recognise as Electric Six’s music.
We catch the last few songs of the second support act; a 3 piece Japanese girl punk band called Mutant Monster. Thrashing guitar and kawaii looks, these ladies get the crowd ramped up for the main act perfectly, making us all wish we’re in a punk band too. Or have long hair.
Electric Six come on stage donned in suits (Johnny Na$hinal in a white one that earns him the name White Wolf). The crowd surges forward and squeezes as the band set up, front man Dick Valentine apologising for their tardiness as they had some stuff “to do”, slapping his forearm. The humour and dark jokes start from the off and remain throughout the set. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot of the Electric Six back catalogue, but I’m amongst the die hard fans who seem to know every word from the collection taken from their 13 albums – including newbies from the recent release ‘How Dare You’.
Dick Valentine gets a tip of the hat for being an ace front man; his slightly damp red shirt and greased back hair emit a feeling that the band are riding on a high, playing some heavy tunes to get us riding on the same surge of ecstasy (or whatever you fancy) as them. Occasionally, he freezes like a statue whilst the biting tone of the guitars rings out during a solo, staring into nothingness, but keeps our eyes fixated on him the whole time. He’s funny (“Those are the worst three songs we have” he informs the crowd before he introduces “song 4”), and well timed, and very sure of himself. In fact, the whole band are sure of themselves and their sound. What else would you expect from a 22 year old group? Their songs combine biting guitar riffs and grooves, with US country styles, with the pumping hi-hat and octave bass grooves of disco.
The first song I recognise is ‘Down at McDonaldz’, a song that has the audience waving their hands like it was Limp Bizkit on stage. As Electric Six go on, becoming even greater showmans, the crowd kicks up their energy. When the opening riff of ‘Gay Bar’ starts the tightly packed crowd at the front explodes into a mosh pit. I haven’t been in a pit in ages, but the riff and nostalgia of the song takes over. What a song. What a bar.
Their final song of their encore is ‘Show Stopper’, where all the members trade places with each other, again showing off the confidence in themselves as a band to finish a show like this. A good night is ticked off for E6, and the crowd are buzzing thanks to the expert way the band lead the evening.
I leave humming ‘(Who the Hell Just) Call my Phone’, a song I wasn’t even aware of before the gig.
If a group can play a set and get their songs planted in your head, a crowd jumping, and sell out venues across the country, you know they’re doing something right. And Electric Six have had 22 years to practice getting it right. Top work, lads. Now, we’re all going down to McDonaldz.
Electric Six with support from Mutant Monster
March 3, 2018
Words by George Imbert
Photos by Gili Dailes