‘Garage punk’ and ‘minimalism’ are two terms you don’t expect to see together. However, last night at the fabulous The Finsbury venue on Green Lanes in North London, it was all about ‘less is more’.
The evening started off in quite a surreal manner, with the first support act, Professor Baba & His Invisible Band (photo, above). A lone figure on stage dressed in some kind of tunic was somehow managing to make far more sound than one person should be allowed to do. It was not until the set was over that we realised that this was a side-project by Simon Wild from Oh!Gunquit, a fabulously surfy trashy London band that I have seen play before at this very venue, who are as it happens about to embark on an Italian tour. Any Italian readers out there: do check them out.
It was a great way to start the night. Voo-Dooms were up next (photo, above), a good old fashioned mix of garage and rockabilly, with loads of songs referencing graveyards and coffins. We were transported back in time to some of the Hemsby weekenders we enjoyed in the early 90s when we would be entertained by the likes of Nekromantix and Coffin Nails.
But we were here to see The Ghost Wolves. They were slightly late coming on but they electrified the entire audience with their garage punk show. If we were to use one word to sum up this performance it would be RAW. Carley Wolf on guitar (and occasionally keyboards), Jonny Wolf hitting the drums harder than I imagine the Finsbury Pub in-house drumkit has ever been hit… This was what we had been waiting for!
The White Stripes are probably the most well-known two-piece band out there, but The Ghost Wolves give them a run for their money and then some. Carley was a bundle of energy. We like to think of The Ghost Wolves as the Die Antwoord of garage punk. Here is some video filmed last night, filmed by us. You make your own comparisons.
This is not a night we shall forget easily. There were a few issues with the drums that Carley was unhappy about, so she put a chair on stage to help with the resonance and regularly pulled punters out of the crowd to sit on the chair, not just to help with the technical difficulties but also to become part of the show. It was rather amusing to realise that the first person she brought up was someone we remembered from our old squat-party days of listening to acid techno, who we hadn’t seen for at least ten years and who we otherwise would not have known was even there.
Ghost Wolves totally rocked this little joint. I will leave you with another bit of video we filmed, which we hope you enjoy.
All in all, this was a fabulous night, put together by who else but Dirty Water Records’ henchman Boston Paul (Paul Manchester), always a dead-cert guarantee that you are going to get a night of top-notch entertainment. It is nights like these that makes one realise that London really is the place to be.