see all the photos from this concert here

The Last Dance
The Last Cry
Purple Turtle, London
Thursday October 21 2004
~review and photos by Uncle Nemesis

The Turtle isn’t as purple as it used to be. This designer-alternative bar has been given a make-over, and now looks more like a Berlin culture bunker, albeit a *designer* Berlin culture bunker. There’s a new stage for live bands, a precarious shelf wedged between the bar and the fire exit, and upon this precarious shelf tonight three bands will strut their stuff for our entertainment.

The Last Cry open the proceedings. For the band, this gig is another staging post on their comeback trail, and by now they seem to have picked up the makings of a decent following. At any rate, they win the crowd’s attention with a set of scary, moody, rock, the vocalist looming out at the audience as if trying to force himself into our consciousness by the sheer intensity of his stare. The band whip up a punchy, controlled, sound, never giving way to rockstar histrionics and always keeping a downbeat demeanour.  All, that is, apart from the drummer, who freaks and gurns his way around the kit with his trademark array of crazed expressions that are, in their way, almost more scary than the vocalist’s Mister Intense persona. As before, I find myself rather more impressed with the band’s presentation than the content - they’re still in need of that killer anthem, in my view - but it’s all an effective package, and if you’re in the market for a bit of granite-solid rock played with a no-shit attitude, The Last Cry may well be up yer alley.

Funhouse are old friends of the UK scene, although as it happens they haven’t set foot in the country since that nice Uncle Nemesis put them on in 2001. Tonight, we get a revised version of the band: a couple of the regular Funhousers are temporarily absent, so for this gig the band have a replacement guitarist and bassist. But it’s rumbustious goth ‘n’ roll business as usual, the band rattling out a set of unpretentiously good-time tunes with an amiable humour that contrasts drastically with The Last Cry’s furrowed-brow seriousness. Funhouse are nothing if not showmen, so we get the full gamut of rock ‘n’ roll shapes, and a tune selection which leans heavily on the band’s most recent album, ‘Oceans Of Tears’. There’s also a brace of covers - Depeche Mode’s ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ and Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ - and even the untimely demise of one of the monitors can’t stop the flow. With fans on the monitors to keep them cool and functioning (I shall resist the temptation to make the obvious crack about Funhouse always getting their fans down the front) the band hurtle on, and the crowd is with them all the way. A performance that provides more proof, as if it were needed, that Funhouse are probably the best rock ‘n’ roll party jukebox on ten legs.

The Last Dance are somewhat frazzled by being pitched into a gig about five minutes after their flight touched down, but, much-travelled troupers that they are, they still pull a good show out of the bag. Vocalist Jeff is sporting a new bleached hairstyle tonight, which, with his Californian tan, makes him look disturbingly like Robert Kilroy-Silk. But once we’ve got over that little trompe d’oeil, the band’s set is as full-on and seamless as we’ve come to expect. The Last Dance are a highly professional unit - you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth, regardless of how far the band have travelled to make the gig, or how much sleep they’ve had to forgo in order to play it. Tonight’s set is predominantly built around selections from the recent ‘Whispers In Rage’ album - ‘Nightmares’, ‘Voices’, and ‘Dead Man’s Party’ all crop up, as does ‘Terribly When’, a song title which I always think looks like it’s been randomly grabbed from a William Burroughs cut-up. Jeff stages an impromptu stroll along the top of the bar - the bar staff swallow hard, but nobody dares to pull him down - while Rick, on guitar, judiciously selects from a cornucopia of effects pedals.  There’s even a special big-up for Stevyn Gray, on drums, who awards himself a little beat-flourish to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd. ‘Is this your drum solo?’ inquires Jeff. ‘It’s the same one you used to play in Diva Destruction...and Faith and the Muse...oh, and Rozz really liked it, too!’  The band wraps it all up with a zip through ‘Do You Believe In Angels’, and then it’s all over. A typically sterling set by a band who never deliver anything less than the max, and a fine climax to a good rockin’ gig.

see all the photos from this concert here

The Last Dance:
The Last Cry:
This gig was a co-promotion by Resurrection Records:
and the mysterious DJ Psyche:
The Purple Turtle:
Robert Kilroy-Silk (not an official site!):
Reviewed by Uncle Nemesis: