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Live Review: Dirty DC at The Ritz

Posted on March 10, 2015 at 7:55 AM

The first rock night at The Ritz goes down a storm

I'd never heard of Purge before, first up on the bill tonight and the only originals act, with two tribute bands following; but assaulted by the image of a 6 foot plus lead singer rocking a full length Native American Indian Headdress and spitting out more vocals than John Wayne can shoot bullets, they make an impression to say the least.

I was quietly impressed with them, they got the place up and running, despite it being near empty at this point. The crowd embraced the boundless energy they provided and threw themselves around with gay abandon. Some singing along, some not, some throwing out shapes that would put a Play Doh machine to shame, others head bopping with staid regards for things to come, regardless, they proved to be a massive - and for me -surprise, hit.

Mixing their own work Machete and Skinny Me with some classics such as My Generation worked really well here, adding their own twist to some classics means they are unique and not trite. Homework, their second to last song is a groovetastic offering with a convulsive explosion of lyrics that almost baffle. Their finale; Song For George, with a much increased audience, was a wordy cacophony drenched in 70’s vibe, fast paced and excitable, like a toddler on smarties.

Bob Hunter- Guitar/Lead Vocals/Headdress wearer is a fantastic vocalist, an inimitable voice with the ability to rattle out the lyrics at a phenomenal speed, throwing himself around bombastically and basically an all-round great front man. Haiden McHale the other lead guitarist appears to be in fine fettle, with some lovely 70’s inspired guitar winery that suits the band well. Ably supported by Bassist Josh Wirth, his sonorous sound rumbles through The Ritz, vibrating the floor. Danny Smith maintains the backing throughout with his skilled drum work completing the quartet with aplomb.

To sum up; Purge were a bit off the wall, a bit bouncy fruit loops but all in all good fun.

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And then came The Guns & Roses Experience, the classic 80’s, and quite frankly only GNR anyone in their right mind wants to listen to, is visited once more as “Axl” and co. stroll onto stage looking every bit the part right down to the bandanas. I did discuss this with him later saying for real authenticity he should have been late then pissed off half way through the set, a sentiment he echoed. [For added effect maybe he could have whined about some tripe and started a fight with a member of the audience, probably becuase they were wearing the same dres, Ed.]

From Welcome to the Jungle, through to Paradise City and Live and Let Die to Nightrain it was a fairly good set, “Axl” was pure egotistical perfection right down to the fake orgasm moaning in Welcome to the Jungle complete with chest flashing and leather pant crotch grabbing. Several times he came for bimble into the crowd, increasing the vibe and energy exponentially, coming off stage to take selfies with the crowd and encouraging sing alongs. It was a decent set, really, the classic GNR song are always a hit, regardless of what has been and gone there are some songs everyone will sing along too, some songs that everyone knows and more importantly will build the energy in a room quicker than a tramp on chips. And this is what they manage to do and do well, gazing around and taking in the crowd, there is air guitaring, head thrashing, full on pogo dancing and everything in between, proving the popularity and sway of what they are offering.

And this my dear readers is where it went a little wrong, a stage dive for some crowd surfing would be ideal here no? Cleverly after judging the crowd to be a little worse for wear, who am I kidding? Totally hammered! “Axl” stepped down from the main stage to kind of jump into the crowd, more a bunny hop into a small bunch of woozy patrons than a full on stage dive or mega proportions. At which point most of the crowd moved from underneath him, he was shoved about 2 cm in the wrong direction, rolled over and gave up, wandering back on stage to finish his wailing, after a slurp of Carling. Well, at least he tried, I suppose.

I think it was around this point that it became that bit clearer the drinking on stage was taking its toll; the blunders and clangs from “Slash” and the missed vocals from “Axl” stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb and marred the overall performance for me. Having said that, they arrived on time, played and entire set and managed not to start a fight with their own reflection so there is that….

"Axl was pure egotistical perfection."

Ladles and Jellyspoons, roll up, roll up to witness the art of caricature, parody and titillation that is this wondrous art form. With resurgence in the 1930’s with the phenomenal Gypsy Rose Lee, taking the helm to the modern day likes of Betsie Bon Bon and the Folly Mixtures, Burlesque is nothing short of an art from in its true presentation, capable of rendering one speechless in dignified wonder at the beauty that is revealed on stage to the masses.

And with this the first of three beauties take the stage, amidst whoops and whistles from the front of the stage, that rather none too surprisingly has become inundated with the male species. With some trepidation I watch, wondering if in all actuality the real art form will be displayed or it is just an excuse to draw in the crowds, appealing to the power of the crotch. One after the other they traipse on stage, bravery personified to be honest, by this point, most people are beyond drunk and quite plainly some stand in piles of drool - Jesus I hope it is - as the women parade themselves for ogling. There is no fine art here, but then really it is not the best situation for it.

Was it something to rival the greats? Well, No. Not at all, but it was interesting, ti broke up the sets and added another dimension to the night for sure. Seeing three lovely ladies tease and titillate is never a bad way to spend an evening I grant you, sandwiched between some decent music, even more so.

"Men stand in piles of drool for the Burlesque show - Jesus I hope it is anyway."

And then the finale Dirty DC, right from the off the energy is immense, taking the lead is “Angus” complete with school uniform and satchel wielding his guitar like some deranged loon hell bent on causing mischief. Following is “Brian” complete with ubiquitous flat cap, Geordie accent and steadfast approach to doing the stalwarts justice.

I am impressed from the off at the passion they throw into the music, ramping up the crowd, offering banter in-between the songs and building on the vibes every step of the way. The stage set up, complete with cannons, is great. The back drop is emblazoned with their name and gets new additions as it goes along, Hells Bells brings a cut out of a bell, surprisingly, Whole Lotta Rosie a voluptuous blonde bombshell bedecked in trashy hosiery, who, incidentally, brings more whoops and whistles than the real life ladies who were on stage earlier.

Dirty DC have been playing throughout the UK and Europe since 1998, developing a line up and stage show that has earned them a seriously strong reputation amongst diehard fans as well as those looking for a decent night out. Honing details from amps to footwear but more importantly their music delivery to ensure paying homage to AC/DC is realistic in its accuracy. Offering favourites covering the entirety of their career from both Bon and Brian eras the similarities are astonishing. The sound they produce almost carbon copy of the original productions, just what you want in a tribute band, they are bloody good at what they do. I don’t want originality here, I want AC/DC, I want grit and energy, growly gravel flecked vocals, guitar and drums bouncing off each other to offer ear splitting thumping riffs over and over again. And they deliver, in spades.

Their opener from the new album Rock or Bust involves giant footballs being lobbed from the stage for one giant game of touch football that captures the whole vibe in one wondrous image. Air guitars are everywhere, a blow up guitar makes an appearance from somewhere in the crowd, passed around for everyone to use. The crowd love it. There is head banging, shouting, singing, whistles and whoops and all round hilarity.

The classics are there, Rosie, Hells Bells, Shoot to Thrill, Back in Black, Dirty Deeds and more, so much more. Every single one delivered with heart, soul and passion.

One thing is for sure Dirty DC are hitting the mark, time and time again. They mix the incarnations and eras superbly, the japery on stage reflective of not only how much fun the crowd are having but also the guys on stage. With “Brian” wandering around with “Angus” on his shoulders, shirtless and belting out the tunes, none of them missing a beat, you can tell they love it. They love feeding off the crowd, they love delivering the music and the chemistry that have is amazing.

So often when you partake of a tribute band you end up disappointed, there always seems to be something missing, be it not the right notes hit, the energy fading as the set moves along, something that is not quite right. Here, not so. Right from the start they were instantly recognisable, Front man Chris offered just the right amount of banter, “Angus” just didn’t stop with his tomfoolery. The band backing them up every step of the way ensuring the music continued throughout, never missing a beat.

If you get a chance to see them, do! If Brian and co play with as much passion and energy later on in the year then it will be a cracking gig for sure.

Something else I have to mention, The Ritz, their first rock night, staged amongst some fierce competition, MR themselves were at several different venues to review gigs, not including the general club nights around and about. Despite this stiff competition, they drew in the crowds. A fantastic local night at a great venue, support the local rock nights, get your arses over there and prove that the locals are on it, they are passionate about music and that real rock lives in heart and soul.

Words: Kat 'horny flashy devil horns' Hilton

Categories: LIVE REVIEWS

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1 Comment

Reply JamesRok
1:36 PM on May 13, 2017 
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