Torquamada were pretty good as I remember – sort of skuzzy rawk, Ramones style, with four guys all in a row along the front of the stage looking very cool. I only really remember them because they did a great version of ‘Fuck Like A Beast’.
Now, apart from having the most annoying and un-catchy name (the 80s what? Matchbox Twenty you say?), 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster have an awesomely cool sound. The album ‘Horse Of The Dog’ is something I’d not really heard before. I saw them described in the music press as ‘Goth-Billy-Surf-Punk’ which I can’t really argue with. The Garage, a corking little venue, was heaving – ‘Celebrate Your Mother’ and ‘Psychosis Safari’ had been played quite heavily on XFM and MTV and there was quite a bit of hype surrounding the band.
The lights went down, and this insane American preacher man came on to introduce the band. He slowly and steadily whipped the crowd into a real frenzy with a very convincing few minutes of evangelist diatribe, imagine Billy Graham introducing Marvin Hagler at Caesar’s Palace. Then 80s Matchbox burst onto the stage, and man, they were worth the big-up. They looked fucking coolness personifed – a real mixture of punks, Goths and rockers with the attitudes to match. They sounded fucking great too, really rocked the place. Dirty rumbling basslines and buzzsaw guitars, topped off with a very Andrew Eldritch-like (in both look and sound) vocal. The crowd was as diverse as the motley selection on stage, and the moshpit was energetic to say the least. I left them too it though, preferring to keep my pint(s) intact nearer the back of the room, which given its petite dimensions, meant I was still only 30 or 40ft from the band. ‘Psychosis Safari’ seemed to be the big hit with the crowd, and I resolved to see dem Matchbox boys again, for sure.