The Datsuns + The Hellacopters + Gaza Stripping – 10/12/02 – Astoria, London

Datsuns ticket Dec 2002The hype surrounding The Datsuns’ debut album was massive – the NME had them on the cover and had them down as the next big thing. This normally puts me right off a band, but it was such a great album that I had to try and see them live. They happened to be supporting  Swedes The Hellacopters on a brief UK tour, which would take in The Astoria – never heard of them, but quick download of a couple of tracks and they sounded pretty good, so decided to go. Turned out that The Datsuns had been blowing the main act off the stage every night, so by the time they got to London, they were headlining instead of Hellacopters.

First band on were lacking several band members due to illness or wives having babies or something, so a Datsun and a Hellacopter duly stood in, and they sounded ok. Fairly enjoyable rawk as I remember. Then The Hellacopters – not half bad, very catchy rock and very tuneful (what is it about the Scandinavians? They write such catchy tunes.) By the time of the gig, I’d obtained and familiarized myself with a good dozen or so of their tracks, and they didn’t disappoint. ‘Toys And Favours’ is the best, IMFO.

Anyway, all this was just support material, as most people were there to see The Datsuns, all the way from Cambridge, NZ. Absolutely the best Ramones/New York Dolls/ACDC tribute act on the circuit, no question about it. Such energy, such attitude, and they can actually play too. Dolph Datsun, lead singer and bassist, is the bastard love child of Mick Jagger and Joey Ramone. His live voice is excellent, and he looks the epitome of cool as he struts around with his Sid Viciously low-slung Explorer bass. The harmony backing vocals of the two guitarists really contribute to the tight feel too, as they’re both really good singers as well as excellent guitarists. Lots of ‘Na na nas’ in true Ramones stylee. The music is fairly straightforward, balls out garage rock, but stylishly done. ‘Harmonic Generator’ has to be the most insanely catchy number of them all, but there isn’t a duff track on the album, and I’ve a feeling they played the whole thing. Awesome band, awesome gig. O for fricking awwwwesome.

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