Spit Like This/Tigertailz @ Camden Underworld
aaamusic | On 19, May 2011
London, 14th May
Some people have no shame. And in certain circles, this can only be a good thing.
Case in point, heavy metal glam-goth mob SPiT LiKE THiS. Having been a gobsmackingly underappreciated pillar of the UK rock scene for a fair few years to say the least, they lit up the Underworld, showcasing their new guitarist and new tracks to London, and both lived up to the band’s spectacular nature. Due to time constraints, they had to rush through their set, but with such a high-energy band, this proved to be no big problem. Vocalist Lord Zion provided a formidable stage presence, barely slowing down for a second and careering around the stage like a particularly offensive and talented five-year-old. Keeping pace easily were the band: Vikki Spit, Vile Gilez and new axeman Rob Riot all proved their worth, pounding in some hefty basslines, seismic drums and sizzling solos. All the chops of the Big 4, the attitude of Motörhead and the debauched glitter-stained fun of T Rex playing Queen covers in a strip club seemed to fight for a place on the stage as the band careened between the pristine and the puerile. The setlist comprised of tracks from their upcoming ‘Normalityville Horror’ release, and they seem to have received a fresh shot of metal, with the instruments holding a renewed clout behind the shining veneer of punky rock n roll. And yet to write off the band as one whose aim in life is to perforate your eardrums and to kick you while you’re haemorrhaging would be to miss half the story: they might consider doing all of the above, but on the way, they want to make sure you have fun and hear some damn good tunes. ‘Zero To Sixty’ featured some mindbending tempo/effects/riff wizardry, and the percussive maelstrom swagger of ‘Sick’ could only send lightning down the spine. All that, and Vikki and Zion form a stage chemistry that could only be compared to the great twosome of Lux Interior and Poison Ivy in their easy silliness and twisted humour. All I can say is in light of a phenomenal show, roll on the album and a headline tour!
The gauntlet was laid, and Tigertailz had to put on one hell of an act to avoid being upstaged by their support. Whether this is a reflection of my own personal bias or not I’m unsure, but of the two I would vouch for Spit Like This being by miles the better act, but that isn’t to say that the Welsh glam legends didn’t hold their own corner. Resplendent in the edited clothing of seasoned metalheads and spandex of a true glam warrior, touting some serious musicianship in the form of guitarist Jay Pepper and one-man apocalypse soundtrack Robin Guy on drums, they tore into a set of new tricks and old favourites, especially standards from their ‘Bezerk’ album, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. However, more so than earlier the venue’s PA seemed set to overdrive and so the shrill vocals got a bit lost in the proceedings, although this didn’t discourage them in the slightest, belting out antics and anthems like there’s no tomorrow. I felt the solo sections were a bit too self-congratulatory, and the stage banter dragged in places (the encore had to be cut to one song due to a curfew) however there’s no denying that when they kicked into fifth gear, boy did they deliver with songs like ‘I Can Fight Dirty Too’ holding as much snot and spark as they did upon their first performance.
All in all, I would say that Tigertailz aren’t the standard-bearers of days gone by, but in their refusal to lay down and grow suits and pensions and sensible shoes, they remain a beacon of the power of metal, and Spit Like This can carry the bright and shining torch, proving that po-faced posturing is not a necessary part of being a kick-ass metal act. Loud as fuck and sexy to boot with a wit sharp and quick as a razorblade whipcrack from your favourite dominatrix comedienne, they have come for your souls, and if there’s any justice left in this godforsaken music industry, you’ll hand them over.
Author & Photos: Katie H-Halinski