Monday, 22 August 2011

GIG REVIEW: Frenzy - Midsomer Norton, 20/08/2011

L-R - Steve Eaton, Steve Whitehouse, Miles, and "Chainsaw Charlie"
It's always good to see Frenzy do their thing live. Tonight I travelled to Midsomer Norton to make my first visit to The Wunderbar, a venue on the High Street which is located underground. I arrive a few minutes late, during a fine rendition of 'Hero' from the magnificent 'In The Blood' album, and the place is packed. 

After managing to find my way to near the front where I can actually see the group I realise that the band's mighty rhythm machine Adam Seviour is absent and in his place is Miles, the drummer with Frome outfit Jakatta. As it turns out the band are just about to embark on another tour of the States and Adam couldn't make it, so tonight is almost like a public rehearsal for the upcoming tour. Seviour's absence makes for an unusual looking line up, but Miles does a fine job of standing in and the set takes on a rawer sound, perhaps not quite as tight as usual. But it's great fun as always and Steve Whitehouse is on top form as is guitarist Steve Eaton, the pair of them gleefully mocking each other throughout the show: Whitehouse taking the piss out of Eaton's other band Far-Cue a numerous amount of times, and Eaton getting his own back by calling him "a cunt"... even Miles isn't safe from the playful piss-taking as Whitehouse refers to his 80's Beastie Boys-esque appearance.

The local shows like this are excellent when it comes to such banter, and the small scale of the venue brings the band as close to the audience as could be. Just because it's a free local show doesn't mean they don't give 100%, to Frenzy any crowd is a crowd and they will give it their all every time. Old classics like 'I See Red' and 'Clockwork Toy' send the old and new fans mental, while material from the last two albums appears to be extremely popular too. When they whip out the covers, their far-superior take on Roxy Music's 'Love Is The Drug' and their insane rendition of The Living End's 'Prisoner Of Society' go down very well indeed, and 'Time Machine' and 'Johnny Rocket' sound like they were quite a challenge to play. And indeed they would be for most groups, but Frenzy revel in the challenge and deliver the tracks with urgency and enthusiasm. Tonight the songs are kept short, sharp and simple... even Steve Whitehouse manages to control his famous urge to play epic bass solos, as tonight he keeps them brief. Well brief by his standards anyway.

Tonight Frenzy treat their local friends to another strong, passionate and fun live show that pleases a hungry and wild crowd. By the end of the night I have a black eye (resulting from someone's stray elbow), a desperate need for a cigarette (since I forgot to bring my tobacco out with me) and I am sweating more than I have for a very long time indeed. The plan was to stand still, watch the band and maybe take a few photos but it is impossible to do such a thing with this lot around. It seems that whenever Frenzy play, the professional music reviewer in me decides to take a wander, as I turn into a pogo-ing lunatic. Surely testament to the sheer adrenaline this band produce as they rip through their back catalogue of rock n roll classics.

A job well done I'd say. See you in October dudes.

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