A few years ago, I stepped out of a studio room leaving a lead guitarist alone to vent his spleen via some hectic fretwork… whilst leaning, and reluctantly being quite impressed by the muffled 'genius at work', a musical stranger strolled by, nodded at room 3, and spouted "'avin a good wank in there is he?" What a fantastic summation, I grinned, as the stranger wondered on to the drinks machine (a remark like that is worthy of a drink).
My only previous knowledge of The Datsuns was one hearing of the current single, 'In love', which conjured thoughts of Led Zeppelin, The Stooges, and blatantly, AC/DC. From that sound-bite alone, I had a feeling I would prefer to see them than the rest of the current assault of old-school British rock 'n' roll, played in the main by U.S. groups who's name carries a compulsory, 'The', prefix. The group in question, however, are antipodean rock n rollers from Cambridge, New Zealand. Other than a mild biased towards them for not coming from New York, I was very much sat on the fence as we walked in to the venue.
And so the group emerged, typically tight t-shirted, skinny, longhaired, randomly ripped: seen it all before. One thing that did catch my eye was lead singer, Dolf, swinging a Gibson Thunderbird across his chest, a bass guitar that echoes all that was good in the 70's. Then the wanking began.
Opening tune, 'Mother Fucker From Hell', set the pace as it enlightened the crowd to an on stage energy that would rival any. The flanks are taken by two lead guitarists who duel it out to the death (both survive, its an on-going battle), the drummer does his job (its not easy to match the rest of them while you're sat down), and bass player/singer confronts the crowd with a wide eye. The tunes roll by and it becomes clear to me that this group has a stage energy, and technical ability that pisses all over any song power they might have. I haven't heard the album, but I dare say it is impossible to transfer their performance onto record.
'Super Gyration' gets the crowd, and before 'Lady', Dolf responds to the chant of a sweaty bloke and gives us a few short bursts of AC/DC.
The band play 'In Love', and I personally think it stands out a mile ahead of the rest of their set. By this point guitarist stage left has the battle won due to his classic back arched wanking, followed by several drops to the knee. Then I glance to the other side. The battle continues as guitarist stage right ventures to the top of an 8-foot speaker, does some wanking, then leaps off and cripples on the stage.
For a glorious/sickening moment I was sure he must of at least broke a string or a leg. In a second-coming style, the spotlight embraces him and pulls him from the stage floor. Guitarist 2 takes the lead; the battle continues.
For me, this is a group that can belt out a decent tune and certainly entertain. They don't really have any material that leave you begging to hear it again, but you will want to watch it again. These days that's becoming a rarity as more and more groups are unable to match their recorded work with their live work. You decide what's most important.
More wanking I say!