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Eddy Current Suppression Ring with: The Legends of Motorsport, The Disbelievers – The Excelsior Hotel 2nd August 2008

Written by Tyler Broyles on August 16, 2008

There was a panicked pack of hopefuls angling for position by 8:00PM at The Excelsior on Saturday night. The sold-out show had some limited door tickets which were swooped up fast by vulture-like early birds, leaving scores dejected and cursing. Having played in front of thousands supporting Devo at the Hordern the previous night, it felt like Eddy Current Suppression Ring had sold out a matchbox.

“We would like to not thank the manufactures of ecstasy,” was the mid-set statement issued by the The Disbelievers’ guitarist.  Having seen this band exude a dangerous, ex-cons-inspired-by-The-Cramps-vibe at previous gigs I was shocked to see one of their members pogo-ing around with a Cheshire smile, playing a guitar with no lead or amp. But shambolic trouble makes for awesome entertainment when the band holds it down tight. I’d definitely check these boys again just to see what happens next.

“We’re Legends of Motorsport and we play straight-up rock n’ roll!” hollered the band’s front man. He was right. Mix a bit of stoner rock with Rocket Science, add low-brow lyrics about potato salad and you’ve got yourself a good time with a swelling crowd well-warmed for the main event.

“We need a towel, a guitar and a beer,” declared Eddy Current Suppression Ring singer after their second song. There seemed to be a need to get close to the band and the surge forward left spilled drinks and shattered glass all over the stage. ECSR singer (Brendan Suppression) got his three wishes and the band set off to make us believe the hype. ECSR are the most recent in the evolutionary line of The Stooges, The Saints and Radio Birdman but still manage to sound (reasonably) original and (undoubtedly) modern. They serve up their jangly garage-punk tunes loud with that loose-but-somehow-tight rock n roll abandon. Inject Iggy Pop circa ‘73 with a syringe full of ‘strine and you’ve got the sound of ECSR’s frontman – a picture of Darwinian perfection in black gloves. Suppression’s body rocks with a subtle psychopathic motion and when his clear eyes meet yours you feel the honest intensity. Kudos to the soundman, we could hear the lyrics and when Brendan stormed into the throng for ‘Precious Rose’ the women swooned. The crowd was moving and oozing onto the stage and when the band broke into ‘Insufficient Funds’ a happy pit of sweaty devotees swirled about.  The band came back with ‘Wrapped Up’ for a sing-along encore and then thanked us as much as we thanked them. 30 minutes later they were still onstage, encircled by fans, selling and signing 7 inch records to people who cheerfully admitted they didn’t even own a record player.

Don’t expect to see Eddy Current Suppression Ring in a venue this size again.

Note from the reviewer to The Excelsior management: keep your sound guy happy, he knows his shit

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