FASTER PUSSYCAT, Pirates Of Panama, 3Sixty @Iron Road, Evesham 13/11/15


They won’t shut up. The kings of sleaze still babble on and on

3Sixty are a local hard rock band who are every bit the perfect band to perform opening duties here. Two of them, singer Mark and guitarist Nick, have a partnership going back some 30 years and the five piece they are now in clearly have the same love of this type of music they always had. If you asked them they’d probably say there’s nothing especially original about songs like “Long Time Coming” or “Moving On”. That doesn’t make them any less fun. “Turn Up The Heat” is a bit of a glam rocker and their set ends in AC/DC type style with “Just Around The Corner”. Right in the middle though, there’s a cover of “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” and it suits them perfectly.

Speaking of covers Bournemouth’s Pirates Of Panama play one in their set too. The Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is given a trashy makeover and you suspect they couldn’t do it any other way. PoP are support on the whole tour and have just recorded their new EP in Hollywood – facts that singer and bassist Louis Collins is keen that we know and who can blame him? The fruits of those labours – a three track EP called “The Chase” are all played here. And to be fair they all sound pretty good. The title track and “Been There Before” stay pretty faithful to the glam cause but are unmistakably British. There’s enough grit and snarl here to suggest these lads – and with these teeth and cheekbones you’d imagine getting their pictures published – might have a future.

“You drunk yet? If you aren’t, get drunk cuz we sound better when we are drunk” so drawls the figure on stage, smaller than you might expect, with the pilots cap on, the shades and who resolutely ignores the smoking ban like it’s still the 1990s. In many ways to Taime Downe, singer and driving force behind Faster Pussycat for almost 30 years, it still is.

He’s the only original member of the band left. He’s joined on stage, though by a reasonable cast including Danny Nordhal, once of the shoulda-been-huge The Throbs, as well as assorted members of loads of bands. And very pleasingly time has done precisely nothing to diminish his attitude. There’s a feeling throughout that the whole thing could end at any point, and there is still something very definitely edgy about Downe’s performance.

FP are on stage for just over an hour, in that time they race through songs at a pretty breakneck speed, spitting them out with the appropriate venom. They also know that people are here for the old stuff and thus there’s plenty. They start with one, “Jack The Bastard” from the “Whipped” album (and by the way, how is that now 23 years old?!) that’s good and all, but “Cathouse” follows. Few songs embody the hedonism of the LA Music scene of 1987 better than that. To the 12 year old version of this reviewer The Sunset Strip was a place where people blasted out glam rock all day while wearing bikinis, having sex and having parties. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t, but that song is part of the folklore.

Cuts from those first two albums still sound dangerous. “Slip Of The Tongue” brings forth the most ridiculous chorus ever, but you sense it would like to frighten Tipper Gore and the rest of middle America given a chance and “Don’t Change That Song” is still a classic. There’s also a moment of tenderness as “House Of Pain” is played, but just in case you’d forgotten “Bathroom Wall” could probably give you an STI after all these years.

The band, frontman apart, are energetic – Downe just goes for hypnotic menace – and adept, able to turn their hands to a couple of covers. “You’re So Vain” is still delivered with bile like on the record, and The Supersuckers’ “Pretty Fucked Up” is so good a song it can’t be got wrong.

There’s no encore. They don’t need one. They end, after all, with “Babylon” – a real cult classic if ever there was, and they disappear in a blur having delivered it with glee.

Shows like this can go one of two ways. They can be a car crash that doesn’t add to the legacy at all, or they can be fun for an hour. This is that. The band haven’t changed and just for a little while neither have we.

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, they say. It is where Faster Pussycat are concerned.

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