Got a free entry to see Culture Abuse at the Camden Boot room in Camden stables. I like “Culture Abuse” having seen them a couple of times before but they were being billed as singing a few “Sex Pistols” covers. This in the end did not happen but we certainly got a high energy 40 minute set with people bouncing off the low ceiling and lights whilst others tried to swing from the stage lighting gantry. So pretty full on for those young enough to sneer at serious injury.
The venue only takes about 60 people so when confronted by a queue of about 300 outside I thought my chances of entry were slim. But after having a word with the custodian of the list of people who had registered I miraculously got in. So it was a free concert and to top it off free drinks, either Brew dog or Jack Daniels (assuming it was due to licencing).
“Culture Abuse” certainly bring the energy to a venue like this and as mentioned earlier they rattled through many of the highlights of their two albums. Songs such as “Chinatown” and” Bee Kind to the Bugs” actually sound better live, as the production on some tracks off their albums does blunt the raw edges.
They do have a style of their own tinged with a clear love of 70’s punk and reggae. They play heartfelt songs with danceable beats such as “Calm E”, “Dream On” as well as sing along choruses such as “Turn it Off”. Despite requests there were no cover versions offered (ha, ha!).
On the evening they had support from a band I’ve not come across so far called “High-Vis”. Just serendipity but I met two band members outside while I was moaning about the queue. We got chatting and they said although they didn’t like the idea of pigeonholing their music they sounded a bit like “New Order” meets punk. I think at times that was quite accurate, although I did hear a bit of the “Motors “in there somewhere. They clearly had some fans in tow as they got only a slightly less rapturous welcome than the headliners. Played a solid 30 minute set with rock solid musicianship. Songs of modern life and struggle seemed to be the order of the day. Nothing wrong with that I would say.
I had said to the two guys outside that I would check them out if didn’t get in. I’ve seen they are playing support at the Victoria in Dalston so might make a detour for that to hear them again. Great evening in a small evening with added anxiety that might not get in. Makes you feel alive.