The Coronet, London 24/11/17

It’s Friday night and we don’t live in London so by the time we reach The Coronet, myself and the plus one are too late to see Madonnatron and are missing most of Warmduscher’s set too. Someone from our hometown appears unexpectedly and tells us that people are selling chocolate in the toilets. This fact alone beggars belief that this venue is apparently closing at the end of the year, along with the fact that the atmosphere is from a superb bygone era; all dingy sweat and people throwing themselves around without fear of being tasered by security or tutted at by some middle-class hipster. That said, the place is crawling with said hipsters as I assume would be customary for a Fluffer party, all eager to say they were there for this grand finale as another bit of London’s musical history bites the dust. There’s also an actor from ‘This Is England’ in the crowd, wearing a cravat. Excellent stuff.

And Warmduscher are, as their name suggests, getting things a bit warm and wet; frontman Clams Baker Jr in full hellcat mode leading his group of shambolic shaman in the chant of ‘The Sweet Smell of Florida’, to name one highlight that we actually saw. All I can say is that this group of misfits make some pretty cool rock and roll. Rhythmic, hypnotic, chaotic, Warmduscher are on par with cult bands like Meatraffle and the ambience reeks of the early noughties when Errol Alkan spun discs on Tottenham Court Road while me and some bleach blonde American dude thought we ruled the world. Not much has changed in that respect. I’m sure that most of the audience, who wouldn’t remember these times, are recreating the same traditions. Which is pretty cool.

Future Of The Left are the remnants of Welsh band, McClusky, so proven when they play ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’, which was one of my favourite songs about a decade ago. Once lumped in with the ‘post-hardcore’ scene, they maintain the shouty vocals and buzzcut combo, heavy basslines and massive riffage of their former incarnation but the sound is so terrible that we pop outside for some of their set. Sacrilege surely. I know. Shame on us. You’ll have heard of them anyway. I make a promise to see them again when the speakers aren’t pointing at the floor.

And finally. Atlanta’s Black Lips have been around for bloody ages but I only recently heard them on Steve Lamacq’s show on Radio 6. I’m not ashamed of that fact. After all, it did bring me here tonight to embrace the mullets/massive afros, moustaches and general lunacy of a band that could just as easily have stepped out of a John Waters film. And Fluffer want to re-create a high school prom gone bad tonight as they hand out toilet rolls in the crowd to chuck about. Someone makes the mistake of giving me one and I end up lobbing it at someone’s head instead of making a perfect streamer effect as everyone else seems to be so adept at doing. It’s harder than it looks, OK? Still, it’s not long before the stage in the middle is carpeted in the stuff. Two paper mache heads appear in the crowd and are quickly removed from their respective bodies and chucked towards the band, who are clearly ecstatic with the response they are getting. No-one seems to care that the sound is equally as shit because they’re off their tits on the sweet elixir of thrashy, fuzzy garage rock, which you can google if you want a full synopsis because I couldn’t really hear it. Still, I feel quite nostalgic watching, quite sad even, but equally inspired that here is a show put on by a little indie label to scream from its gut that the true spirit of live music remains enough to crack the face of even the biggest indie poser. And what’s more it has so far survived the gentrification of all that is good and holy, which is incredibly exciting to be a part of. May it reign long after this old building has been torn to the ground.

Thank you to Fluffer for putting on an awesome show and to Josh from 9PR for getting us in. Youse a star.

Words and pix - Anna C