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'London, Notting Hill. Mau Mau Bar, 20 Oct 2018'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave'

Our Rating:
Another top line-up down at the Mau Mau bar in Notting Hill guaranteed this show was packed out before the first band of the night, Deviant Heart, even set foot onstage.

Deviant Heart are four...well, you guessed it, Deviants who play songs about the Deviant lifestyles they live. From the opening song about Taking More Than You need it was obvious they were great fun and played slightly sleazy adrenal punk pop.

As Lizzi Lastic was singing that You Are Not the Father on the sort of break up song that has plenty going on the band were just pumping along with a proper estuary pub rock sound that's perfect in the Mau Mau. Lizzi Lastic certainly had a cheeky grin on her face at times while singing that we should Love Her Cheating Heart and listing some of the things she gets up too. Or is it what the blokes in the band get up to?

They rarely paused for breath while they Rock In and Rock Out as Lizzi dedicated My Favourite Boy to the guitarist on her left and I'm sure he was relieved that was the one dedicated to him rather than the next song about wanting to Cut You Up that was about as angry and bitter as they got all set.

The song introduced as Burning Burning Burning was really cool and had a good kick to it, while Story of Your Life seemed to be a rather down at heel anthem for the lost among us. They closed with the blast of energy that was Killer On The Loose and really are a killer pub rock-esque punk band well worth seeing live.

Next on were Kult 45s who I know I've forgotten seeing previously and I know I've seen the guitarist Nigel in more than one other band over the years. They kicked off with a Dick Dale-style instrumental while the soundman made sure the vocals could be heard and then Dale the singer was telling us all about the Law Of The Jungle over a rocking rockabilly riff.

The song about Crazy people is perfect for the Mau Mau Bar as it always has a few crazies present and this night was no different. They dedicated Hiding To Nothing to anyone from Ealing and as I recently went to the funeral of one of my favourite Ealing residents who would have been the Probation officer of this song's protagonists it fit perfectly well as a tribute to Uncle Ronald.

That rumbling rockabilly was now getting Under Your Skin with some great short guitar solos that proved this lot Can't Be Trusted to do anything but rock all night long. Nigel took lead vocals on Sick that was a bit more Psychobilly than rockabilly.

They got all accusatory on Don't Mess With My Baby as they got ready to Turn It Loose (whatever it was) before they closed with no Friend of Mine: a convincingly angry closing number. They are cool and I think this time round I might actually remember a bit more about them than last time.

Then it was time for The Lurkers who I'm used to seeing at Rebellion in front of a far bigger crowd than this. They essentially did their normal routine and once Arturo had managed to tell his favourite joke for the first time they opened with one of the bands newer songs, Come And Reminisce If You Think You're Old Enough. Yes, the song is as good as the title suggests and wonderfully sardonic on the subject of everyone going to see nostalgia acts like The Lurkers or 999 et al.

As ever Arturo talks a little too much between songs but has it ever been any different? Besides, his patter doesn't really change, only it was more drink-related than at Rebellion. Still, once the songs start they blast through them pretty well and I Don't Need To Tell her sounded great as did Rubber Room that followed it even if I want them to sing the Porter Waggoner classic of the same name.

Ready and Loaded seemed almost like a threat but they were having too much fun to be threatening except to the sound man if he couldn't get more vocals in the monitors. After the usual intro story about how Punk comes from New York they did a great New York Dolls-inspired version of the Bo Diddley classic Pills to get everyone singing along with them.

Jenny was dedicated to the woman it was written about and was followed by a Phil Spector story and a rather fast and speedy version of Then I Kissed Her. My notes make no sense at this point as they sang what might have been Go Go Go.

Take Me Back To Babylon sounded damn good mind as did Cyanide, following it like the good chaser it is. I think this was the point in the set where Arturo told his favourite joke for the second time to much piss taking from the crowd and apologies for having a senior moment. They played Inferior Town a song that fits the joke far better than telling it at the start of the set.

Ain't Got A Clue seemed pretty fitting in the circumstances and they seemed to be speeding up a bit with I'm On Heat; a real perky blast before they closed the set with Shadow. That really got us all singing along as it always does and they even had a bit of a mosh pit going.

They got called back for an encore the club tried to stop as they had run out of time as they played Just 13. The head bouncer was front of stage trying to get them to stop so that in true punk style they decided to try to get away with a second song as the bouncer got the sound man to cut the vocals as they played Little Old Orphan Me. Eventually the band took the hint and stopped playing but it was a fitting end to another great night at the Mau Mau bar and as ever The Lurkers are happy to Reminisce with us as long as we are all old enough and I think we were.
  author: simonovitch

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