Thursday, 6 January 2011

172 THE DICKIES, Senseless Things, Banana Splits, Bristol Bierkeller, Monday 1 October 1990

Amazingly, US cartoon punk rockers The Dickies announced their first UK tour for 10 years, so me and PG were there to relive our mutant teenhood. Dragged the Big Man along as he wanted to see The Senseless Things, and Jared who was generally Mr. Curious.

The Bierkeller was wall to wall in heavy punk rockers with mohawk haircuts you could slice yourself in half on - this was no ordinary gig! Banana Splits (who doubtless only got the gig because of their name) were a bit of a row - like SLF but with no brains, so we ignored them.

Rich went into the mosh for Senseless Things, who started well but faded into disappointing thrash. Saved their best - the excellent "Too Much Kissing" - until 2nd last.

I wandered down the front for The Dickies, who stormed on in cartoon Yankee chic - the drummer with a stars and stripes suit, and guitarist wearing Daffy Duck feet - and steamed into "Killer Klowns From Outer Space", setting the tone for the evening. I got engulfed as vocalist Leonard Graves Phillips, wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and sounding exactly like you remember him, all helium voiced 200 mph garble, ploughed into the classic "Eve Of Destruction" and headlong on a roller coaster ride through a napalm Disneyland.

Leonard was the ideal cartoon showman; grabbing 2 random punks onstage and introducing them as his mom and dad; wearing gorilla, hunchback and banana masks, and a superhero cape during "Gigantor"; and also, during the superb "If Stuart Could Talk", producing Stuart the smiling ventriloquist doll penis! Amazing!

I could have done without the audience gobbing liberally onto the band, and us hapless punters down the front, but hey, what do you expect at old school punk rock gigs. The Dickies may be 10 years past their last UK hit, but they still know how to crank it out at 100 mph and entertain mightily at the same time. Simply a brilliant gig.

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